Writing a memoir can be a dichotomous experience: on one hand, it can be fun and fulfilling to reflect on your life and turn it into a tellable, enjoyable story; on the other, reflection can sometimes be painful or difficult. Regardless, writing a memoir is a great way to honor the live you’ve lived and the people you’ve lived it with. Memoirs provide intimate looks into the experiences and feelings of the author. They can offer a certain closeness to the reader. Readers of memoirs walk away feeling as though the author is a friend or loved one.
Because memoirs are so personal, it’s incredibly meaningful to allow others to read your memoir. This is why memoirs make such thoughtful gifts.
What is a Memoir?
A memoir is a nonfiction book (i.e. a true story) about the author’s life. Sometimes it can be called an autobiography, but an autobiography usually recounts the author’s life in chronological order. A memoir, on the other hand, can bounce around in time or tell cherry-picked stories that are all tied together with a theme of sorts. In this way, a memoir can be a more cohesive, organized story.
Memoirs often take the form of a collection of essays, in which each chapter explores some new aspect about the author’s life, whether that’s jobs, relationships, childhood, school, and so on. These types of books can be incredibly personal, both for the author and for the author’s loved ones. It’d be impossible to tell the story of your life without including a lot of family and friends. This can be both a burden and a blessing: a burden because, sometimes, a family member may not want themselves portrayed in a certain way (or at all); but it can also be a blessing in that you’ll need to rely on the memories of your loved ones, and in telling your story, you’ll find yourself spending more time with those you hold dear.
Writing a Memoir
So, you’re writing a memoir. This is a fun, nostalgic time where you’ll be reflecting on your life: the people you’ve met, the places you’ve been, and the things you’ve accomplished. This book will be a part of your legacy; this book will tell your story to children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Like any other book, writing a memoir is about the story. It’s all about plot, organization, coherency, and word choice. Don’t be fooled by the premise of a memoir: just because you’ve lived your life doesn’t mean you automatically know how to tell the story of it.
First, of course, you’ll still need to write a plot and map out your memoir. If not, it will be unorganized and difficult to follow. You don’t necessarily need to start at the very beginning of your life (like we said, this isn’t an autobiography), but you do need to establish order. Do you want to write chapters that blend into each other? Or full essays that can stand alone? Another component of your book that will aid in writing the plot is deciding on common themes in your memoir. Do you want to emphasize your strength? Your endurance? Or maybe the common thread is laughter. Maybe each essay will be funny and make the reader laugh out loud. Once you decide on this, how you tell the story will be easier.
What should you write about? Should you include every little bit of information from your life? No! But you should definitely tell the important stuff. Here are some ideas for what you can include in your memoir:
- Formative childhood memories. This could be the first time you read your favorite book, the first little league game you won, a fun day with your mom and dad, etc.
- School stories. What was the hardest class you ever took? Did you and your friends used to pull pranks in high school? Were school lunches a particularly gross experience for your? Whether funny, sad, or happy, stories from your time at school can be incredibly interesting for readers.
- College or first jobs. What was your first step into the “real world”?
- Relationships. Whether important friendships, close relationships with cousins or grandparents, or relationships with people you dated.
- First loves. There’s a reason romance novels are so popular!
- Marriage and children. How did your family begin?
- Important lessons from difficult experiences. How did you grow? These tidbits of wisdom are important to pass down to your descendants.
As your journey writing a memoir progresses, remember that you’re a storyteller, so make your memoir as interesting as possible. Memoirs of well known people–such as political figures and celebrities–sell the most because of the name. For non-famous people, your memoir must be well-written, intriguing, and unique to draw in readers.
Memoirs Make Memorable Gifts
If you’re having a hard time deciding what to get for everyone on your holiday list, why not give them the gift of memories? Imagine the looks on your children’s and grandchildren’s faces when they open their present to discover its your life story – their heritage – written by you.
Handmade presents are the most meaningful. Writing a memoir – thousands upon thousands of words, hundreds of pages – is the ultimate handmade gift.
When you self-publish a memoir with DiggyPOD, you remain in control. You select the paper it’s printed on, how it’s bound together, what the cover looks like, and how many copies are printed. The end product is your life story, exactly how you want it to look and read.
Your family and friends will be so surprised, impressed, and grateful when they receive your life’s story. Writing a memoir is an act of preservation, and sharing that memoir is an act of love.
For more information on the DiggyPOD process and how to self-publish a memoir, check out our site and don’t hesitate to call our helpful customer service representatives.