How to Write a Memoir (the First 3 Steps)
But before, let me just say. I wrote my story from events that happened to me from 5 years old through 26 years old because something happened to me at 26, which I thought would help others. That’s part one. If I wanted to create part two concerning another phase in my life, that would be totally fine. The point is, it’s never too late or to early to write your story. And you don’t need to write everything all at once (two parts is fine) as long as you have something beneficial to say that will inspire and help others. I wrote my book because I believed my story could free people and bring healing to their lives.
And there are many who think like me but are not sure where to begin. It becomes so daunting soon as they start thinking about writing their past life (after feeling spurts of excitement of course) and in no time, the flooding begins. The next thing they know, they’re in a vast ocean with past memories drowning them and then it becomes too much. They tuck it away for another day. Some day.
So I’m here to help with those overwhelming feelings during this process and hopefully encourage you, not only to begin but complete your captivating book until the end.
So the first thing one must know about writing a juicy biography is...
you need to carve out some serious time. That’s step one.
Writing your story is serious business. You will go through some very highs and lows emotionally and it will get draining. So time, in this circumstance, is crucial since everything needs to be processed correctly in your mind, spirit and soul to finally put it out on paper.
For me, I quit school for two years and I began writing full time. I knew that writing a bio was going to take a lot of time. And I was right. So just know, before sitting in front of your lap top…a memoir takes months and even years to complete for some people.
If you have a full time job then atleast dedicate two hours a day and stick with it. Writing a few paragraphs during your lunch break is better than nothing. And so what, if it takes you more than two years to reach your goal, at least your working towards it everyday. Trust me, it will be worth it in the end.
You need support. Support, support support… either through a writers club in your local area or a self help book. In my case, I had both.
I really recommend, “A Cup of Comfort for Writers.” This book was my energy booster before sitting in front of my computer screen. It gave me motivation and it made me aware I wasn’t alone. Writing can be a lonely thing but when you read about authors going through the same thing, the journey becomes bearable.
The writers club I attended every month at my local library also was a game changer. You leave inspired and feel you can tackle the mountain head on because you surrounded yourself with others who already crushed it. And still, others who haven’t even started their book will be there too. So it’s a pleasant place to experience everybody’s levels as writers and yet knowing the ultimate destination is the same for everyone.
All in all the writers club is where aspiring authors need to be. It will be both a blessing and the key to ones success as creators.
And the last step is to get all of your photos out. Spread them out and begin to put them all in order by year.
This is Step 3
Remember, a biography is memories and this process will help you remember details in your past that you haven't thought about in years. Writing your story requires you to dive deep and a photograph will take you there really fast.
Whatever you do however, don't let a bad memory keep you stuck. Dwell on it but don’t dwell on it for months. Learn how to cope with it and heal from it, by maybe talking to someone and praying to God. Always tell yourself, 'you are doing this for a good cause.' Cry if you need to and maybe do it for days but keep the goal in mind or you will never complete the book. If you have to take it to your group and talk to other authors about it then do so. They will always remind you of your Y and writers want you to write your book.
So get those old letters, journals and pictures out and keep God right in the center. Be aware that you are a future author and you need to heal from bad recollections as soon as possible so you can help others in their journey through your story.
Don’t rush this part either but instead use it as a perfect opportunity to ask the Holy Spirit to heal you from old wounds. At the same time asking for strength is vital, since writing about your life is not just jotting old memories down, it’s a whole healing journey as well.
So I hope you take these steps in mind before starting anything and hopefully they helped you in some way. It would’ve been nearly impossible for me to complete my book without these 3 fundamental steps in my writing journey. I live by them.
I will go into other steps in my later blog to guide and help you move forward as a future author and post articles like, 'staying motivated as a writer' and 'how to write a turn pager memoir.' So please come back and visit my blog again. I wish you the best in your writing journey and remember your story is important enough for the whole world to read about.
If you want to read my story and get inspired at the same time, you can grab a copy on Amazon. Click on this link to order your copy: The Search of my Life by Norma Garcia