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6 writing tips on how to write a memoir

Updated: Jul 17, 2023


I gather together the dreams, fantasies, experiences that preoccupied me as a girl, that stay with me and appear and reappear in different shapes and forms in all my work. Without telling everything that happened, they document all that remains most vivid. ~Bell Hooks


We all have a story inside of us. That's part of what makes life so beautiful. Sharing our most precious stories and learning from those experiences. For some, they do not feel as though they are a natural writer, so they may hire a ghostwriter to interpret their words. For those of you who want to write your own stories, here is my advice:

  1. Let's define more about what entails in a memoir. It is not an autobiography. A memoir focus on one specific moment or series of events under one common theme. An autobiography, on the other hand, is a story that spans over your entire life. Before getting started, be sure to define what type of tale you want to tell.

  2. Be honest. Tell the whole truth in its entirety. Expressing genuine integrity in your writing will always be valued by the reader, even if you don't feel like you're in the best light. Shine in your words.

  3. Describe more than just your life and experience. Give details to the interacting world around you. What personal interactions did you have? What is the history and geographical story that surrounds you?

  4. Help your reader feel empathy. Allow them to "walk in your shoes" to help them draw their conclusions. It's better to show, not tell. Try writing and describing your events using all five senses. What did you see, smell, hear, touch, taste? The more details, the better.

  5. Take your reader on an emotional journey. Find ways to incorporate all matters of the heart, sadness, fear, anger, and even laughter. Some of my most favorite stories have made me both laugh AND cry! Feel everything in your words.

  6. Showcase your personal growth. When writing a narrative, the best way to show the moral of the story is to explain how these events changed you. What are the lessons that changed you, and how did that impact your life? Don't be shy in telling why this story is impactful to you. We love your journey, that's why we are reading it! Spare no details.

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