‘Tis the Season—Collect Your Stories, Celebrate your Memoir
‘Tis the season of taking stock, setting new goals, and making plans—for the holidays, and for the New Year. Many memoir writers are getting serious about finalizing the first draft of their memoir, and moving forward with new edits, focusing on themes and figuring out the arc of the story they are telling. The next stages of the memoir are about creating a way to bring in the reader. Other memoirists are figuring out how to begin and what stories to write.
In my journey in the memoir writing world, as I get to know people, I notice how much they love to reminisce and think about their loved ones and times gone by: “Remember when we…” and “I so want to share my grandmother with everyone—she was such a sweet person.” Or “You won’t believe this story, but it’s true…” And I hear this a lot, “I think my story can help others, so I have to write it.”
Every month at the National Association of Memoir Writers, I am privileged to talk with our guests and audiences at the free Roundtable discussions—a great way to meet new writers!—and I love reconnecting with members during our monthly teleseminars. This year, teaching with Brooke Warner for our short courses Kick Start Your Memoir and the Muddy Middle introduced me to more people and their books in progress. And we are looking forward to our full group at Write Your Memoir in Six Months starting in January. All this is so inspiring for me—supporting the idea that creating the National Association of Memoir Writers is helping people write their stories, and creating new connections with others who are passionate too.
I love what Brooke says to aspiring memoir writers:
“Many people have a story they’re yearning to tell, but few have the stamina and discipline to commit to the journey of writing a memoir. You need many things on this journey: support, community, self-compassion. As they say, every journey begins with a first step. When will you take yours?”
I find that most memoir writers need inspiration, and they’re inspired by having their memories fired up through movies, videos, photographs, and writing prompts. Last year, I created a lovely way to help you get inspired, keep track of your stories, and save them in a book-like format—a binder with tabs to keep track of your themes, each section with writing prompts about various topics:
Roots and legacies—where you came from, your ancestors, and the legacies that you are passing on in your memoir;
Fathers and mothers—prompts that invite you to create character sketches of the important members of your family; Childhood memories—discover the important moments that formed you—and more–Love and Marriage, Houses, Secrets and Hidden Truths. You will find over 90 writing prompts, a timeline, a list of dozens of memoir topics, and writing tips to get you started and keep you going to “The End” of your memoir.
On Cyber Monday, if you renew or join as a member of the National Association of Memoir Writers, you’ll get our lowest price of $99 for a whole year of teleseminars, books, eBooks, and audio downloads, and you’ll get the binder for free—mailed to you before Christmas. There’s nothing like seeing your book develop in your binder as the pages accumulate! And think of the binder as a gift for a loved one, or inspiration for someone who know who’s always been wanting to write their memoir.
The binder and the special low membership price are good only on Cyber Monday! I hope I get to talk with you about your memoir on one of our upcoming calls in the new year!
Have a wonderful holiday season, and remember our motto at NAMW—Be Brave, Write Your Story!