Of all the different types of nonfiction books, memoir, or life story, seems to take writers the longest to write. Delving into experiences and memories from long ago and making them into a coherent and interesting story–one that reads like a novel and adds value to a reader’s life–isn’t easy. And many write their memoirs while exploring and healing their past, a process that can take time. Yet, completing a memoir doesn’t have to take years. The first draft can even be finished in 30 days. Today, author and life-story expert Denis Ledoux gives you a day-by-day plan to write your memoir in a month. NA
It’s possible to get your first draft of a memoir done in a month’s time. To do so, follow these simple instructions.
- Choose a period of your life to write about. The strict definition of a memoir is the story of a certain time of your life while an autobiography is the story of your entire life. (In practice or common usage, people use the terms interchangeably.) To meet the parameters of a month of writing, it would be easier for you to choose a period of your life rather than your entire life. You can write a memoir but perhaps not an autobiography.
- Set a decent amount of time aside to do the writing. Schedule it. You HAVE to show up for the work. Wishing you were writing or feeling bad that you’re not won’t get our memoir written. The more time you set aside the more you will write and the more likely you will be to meet your goal of writing a memoir in one month.
- Let go of having to write deathless prose on your first draft. What you are accomplishing this month is getting the flow of your story down in a first draft. Your rewriting will have to take place later in your second write through. (This polishing stage will occur in another month.)
- Gather your support material prior to the start of the month. That includes photographs, journals, clippings and photocopies. Read them and become familiar with their contents.
- Follow the day-to-day suggestions listed below. If you are starting late, do November 1 today-whatever the date is–and proceed for the next 30 days. It’s also permissible to do “one” day in two or three or more days. Think of these as steps or units of activity. You will find it useful to read through the list and, if you feel the need to reorder the list, do so to meet our need. This is about you. Depending on the time you can allot daily, you may be able to write more than the recommended assignment. In that case, go back to a previous day and follow it once more. (To read the rest of this blog post, please click here.)
This post is part of National Nonfiction Writing Month and the Write Nonfiction in November challenge. To learn more about these events, please visit www.writenonfictioninnovember.com, this blog’s sister blog.
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