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Tips on Writing Your Memoir

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Tips on Writing Your Memoir

A memoir is a fun and creative way to reminisce on parts of your life and to share a lesson you've learned along the way. It also provides a way for you to share your accomplishments and story with family and friends. As a senior citizen, memoir writing encourages you to embrace a single theme through each stage of your life and create a historical family record that can be passed down through many generations. While it may seem like a big undertaking, here are tips and tricks to help get you started.

Consider Your Genre

A memoir is different from an autobiography in that it focuses on a single theme that changes throughout the course of your life. Maybe you could write about how you played sports your whole life, took art lessons or farmed, or you could detail how your life choices helped you choose your career path. Some popular genres include sports, inspirational and nostalgic.

Think About Your Reader

Once you've decided on a common theme, consider who will likely read your book. Do you plan to publish your memoirs or are you writing your story for yourself or your family and friends? If you're writing for a commercial audience, research if there's currently a market for your story. Inspirational or legacy books are written for a specific audience.

Create a Timeline

Your timeline is your outline of events. Jot down a collection of high emotion moments you want to focus on. In some cases, you may have too many stories and will need to choose between the most interesting ones and eliminate some of the ones that aren't a priority. A few areas to think about that might help jog your memory include:

  • Childhood influences
  • First jobs
  • Friends
  • Successes
  • Failures
  • Marriage
  • Parents

Research Every Story

For every event and story in your memoir, research the event for accuracy. If the date or event can be fact-checked, be sure to research it. Revisit locations where the events took place and take notes. Interview family and friends who lived with you or close by to get another perspective of the surroundings. Also, don't make something up for events that can't be verified. It's better to leave it out than to include an inaccuracy.

Focus on Details and Dialogue

Focus on how you felt about events as they happen throughout your memoir. Use dialogue as much as possible to capture your personality and the essence of what is going on. If you need inspiration, check out the narration in stories by your favorite authors.

Writing your memoir can be a fun event if you plan out how you are going to write your story and what details you plan to include. At Bethesda Gardens in Arlington, TX, we have an activity center where you are free to sit and work on your story. For more information on this and other amenities, contact us to schedule a visit or call and ask for details.

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