Tips on Writing Memoirs

Looking for Tips on Writing Memoirs?
by Hugh Wilson
Volunteer Staff at Creative Writing Institute

Writing memoirs is easy. Don’t make something easy into something hard. Write for the sake of posterity. Wouldn’t you love to read what your great, great grandmother wrote about her everyday life in the 1800s? Well… IF she had written it. Publication is not the only measure of success. Sure, it means an editor thinks thousands will enjoy your writing and a good byline always massages the eyeballs, but writing is a transient thing.

Think about future generations and how they would love to read about your life in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Yes, we’re talking about writing memoirs.

“But I haven’t done anything memorable,” you protest. “My life is humdrum. Who’d be interested in me?”

What seems commonplace to you can be fascinating to someone else, especially in a hundred years’ time. Think about the kind of details you’d like to know about that great, great grandmother. What type of clothes did she wear? What did she eat for breakfast? What did she do in the evenings? How did she meet her husband? Did all of her children live to adulthood?

Just as today’s teens can’t imagine a world without television, today’s ordinary life will seem extraordinary in tomorrow’s world. By the time someone read’s your heart’s deepest secrets, you will likely be gone anyway.

You don’t have to reminisce in chronological order. Write memories down as they come to you and slot them into the proper period. You can write them by hand and put them in a three-ring binder or type them into a computer and rearrange the order, but no matter how you do it, DO keep your memoirs in a safe place. Carbonite.com is a good place to back your files up for just $59 a year. Dropbox has a free program, and there are other such free places. Just Google “free storage.” Keep your work backed up in more than one location. Store it on an external hard drive or flash drive and keep it in a lock box. Material kept on CD’s will deteriorate over time.

Build a picture of your life for your descendants to read. Leave a part of yourself behind. Start writing memoirs today.

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Making Time

Finding Time to Write by guest blogger, Hope Clark, Funds for Writers

“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin
you have, and only you can determine how it will be
spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it
for you.”

~ Carl Sandburg ~

You cannot create time. You are allotted time. Twenty-
four hours in a day. So when you say you don’t have time,
you’re wrong. You have the same amount as anyone else.

So when someone contacts me, and asked how can they make
time for writing, I turn up the tough love to a pretty
high volume.

You make time for writing by sacrificing something else.

There! Problem solved. Now all you have to do is decide
what you toss out of your life to make room for your stories.

Oh, but you can’t. You have the job, kids, parents, church,
volunteer activities, exercising, gardening, cleaning, commuting,
Wednesday’s bridge, Friday’s movie night, and the list goes on
and on. How do successful writers do it?

Let’s start with one week. Find your notebook or calendar
that has plenty of room to write on, and make note of
absolutely everything you do. No fudging. No forgetting
and making up answers. You have twenty-four hours in a
day, seven days a week. Note them all.

Maybe you cannot give up your kids, as much as you’d like
to on some days. However, you can do the following to
spend more time writing and less time with child-rearing.
Yes, I said it! Take some time away from the kids. I’m
serious as a heart attack when I say that if your children
do not see you passionate about something other than them,
they don’t learn how to go after something great in their
lives or respect others who do.

1. Pick your writing time, even if it’s 15 minutes a day.
2. Make that time off limits except in case of emergency
(dinner isn’t an emergency).
3. Do not break your own regimen, or you teach the kids
it’s okay to break their own obligations.
4. Have someone watch the kids even if you’re in the house.
This teaches the kids that rules are rules.
5. Attend a conference. You’ll miss them more than they’ll
miss you.

Don’t have kids? Let’s take the job, the commute, volunteering,
and so on, and step back to analyze them in a different light.
How can they be streamlined, short-cut, or reorganized to
consume less time?

There’s always a way. With all the books on Amazon, obviously
somebody is finding the time. You are not the martyr. You are
not so unique. It’s just a matter of reorganization,
prioritizing, and frankly, not being afraid of tackling your
writing as if it were vital to who you are.

See more of Hope’s articles at http://www.fundsforwriters.com

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WRITING TIP – Health and Fitness Articles

QUICK WRITING TIP: Health & Fitness articles sell very well. (Actually, non-fiction always sells best and earns the fattest paycheck.)

Think of an angle that will make your article unique. For example, if you’re writing about diabetes and it’s causes, you might use someone’s personal story of how they learned they had diabetes (with their written permission, of course). You might interview a doctor on warning signs of diabetes or tricky signs that seem to point to diabetes but may actually be another problem. The main thing is to use an original angle.

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