Memoir Writing Tips and Quotes


One thing I love about being part of the National Association of Memoir Writers is that I get to talk with lots of authors, teachers, coaches, and people in the book writing world. Early in the month, I enjoyed my conversation with Brooke Warner, Executive Editor of Seal Press, and an advisory board member at the National Association of Memoir Writers. We discussed ways you can write faster, better, and with an awareness of the stages of writing. Writing is about process, writing is about tuning into your story and your book, and listening to it whisper in your ear. In some ways, writing is about magic as well as hard work.

Quotes from Brooke:

 “I believe in writers being published! They might choose traditional publishing, a small press, or self-publish. But the important thing is to write the best book you can write.”

“A book has a life of its own—it wants to be expressed. The book will tell you what it wants to be.”

“Writing is risky.”

We discussed what gets in the way of writing flow:

  • Perfectionism—this creates a paralysis that allows no forward movement.
  • Preconceptions—of what the work “should” be.
  • The Inner critic—yammering away about something that is not yet even written.

Quotes from Linda Joy:

“There are three stages to the writing process: the (shitty) first draft, the muddy middle, and the top of the mountain. By far the longest stages are the first two.”

“Find your turning points as a way to focus your work—moments of meaning that contain a point or focus for your story.”

Ask yourself:

  • What do I want the reader to learn?
  • What is the point of the story/chapter/scene?
  • How does this paragraph, vignette chapter and scene relate to my theme(s)?

Another tip:

Focus your writing in bursts of 500 words—about two double-spaced pages. If you write 500 words a day, you will have a book in six months.

How much do you write each day? Each week?

What is your goal to finish your book?

To learn more about writing your memoir quickly, join us for the Free Memoir Writing Telesummit Memoir Writing in the Digital Age March 30! Sign up to get the free audio of the whole day which includes Mark Coker of Smashwords, Lynn Serafinn, 7 Graces of Marketing, Dan Blank, WeGrowMedia, Tessa Smith McGovern, eChook, and a session with Brooke Warner and yours truly–Linda Joy.