How to write memoirs: 10 steps (with pictures)

How to write memoirs: 10 steps (with pictures)
How to write memoirs: 10 steps (with pictures)

Memories are a way to reach the heart of the emotion and share it with others. If they are not written down, the precise details may soon be forgotten. Memories validate your experience and give meaning to your life: after all, your memories are a precious journey for others to learn from and enjoy. Memories can thus be a gift for your children, your parents, your friends, your country and even the whole world. Only you can tell your story, and the lives of other people could be enriched.


Part 1 of 3: think about your angle

Write a Memoir Step 1

Step 1. Start selecting

Good memories are indeed not the story of a lifetime, rather they are a glimpse of a time in your life when you felt a real sensation and lived an authentic experience. So try to keep your memories focused on a period or aspect of your life, ultimately sending a larger message. If your writing is good and captivating, this experience or moment that you have had will become universal and all audiences will be able to identify with it. Start thinking about what you are going to write.

  • What can't you deny?
  • What have you or who have you left behind?
  • What thing have you done that you no longer understand the reasons for?
  • What do you wish you had ever done?
  • What physical characteristics are you proud to bequeath?
  • When have you felt unexpected compassion?
  • What do you have in excess?
  • When did you know you were in trouble?
Write a Memoir Step 2

Step 2. Take out old photos, old calendars, and other nostalgic items

They will bring back to your mind the experiences you can write about. If possible, go to the scene and relive the events in your mind.

Just because you don't immediately remember something doesn't mean you shouldn't write about it. Memories are about self-exploration, and there is “more of you than just you,” after all. You are also the places you go, the people you love, and the things you own

Write a Memoir Step 3

Step 3. Let your emotions flow

It is a time when your mind should "play the violin" to your heart. And if the emotions are scary, absurd, painful, or even downright terrifying, so much the better! Bringing them to the surface will help you stay in the moment and write with passion, purpose, and clarity.

  • If a thought chain is about to erupt, give it free rein. If you stop it, your handwriting will be flat and you will end up dealing with topics only on the surface. Take your mind to a place it may not want to go. What lies behind those first thoughts can be something worth knowing and therefore writing.
  • Listen to music that can metaphorically take you back in time or significantly change your mood. Anything that stirs your emotions and brings your mind back to a specific time can shed light on the past.
Write a Memoir Step 4

Step 4. Try the therapy

This not only gives you an hour or two a week to organize your mind, but it also makes your writing natural and creative. Memories are not meant to turn the page, but to share with others and expose a little of yourself.

It is quite normal to think that you are going crazy. Digging out your old emotions will surely bring them back to life and make you think they're real. So all you have to do is put them down on paper and dive into catharsis. You may even find that the story "writes itself" and that the conclusion you didn't see coming looms right in front of you

Part 2 of 3: Create your masterpiece

Write a Memoir Step 5

Step 1. Be honest

Very few people are the son or daughter of a great physician and have spent their formative years in Africa healing blind lions. If your life seems boring on paper, consider the following: You're no more boring than the next 100 people you'll pass on the street. You just aren't looking in the right places. As tempting as it sounds, don't lie. Your readers deserve better! And you too, frankly.

  • When we remember things, we often recall what we feel when remembering rather than how we felt when remembering. Does it "speak" to you? So don't necessarily trust your memory: ask others for their side of events. You want as unbiased a view as possible: after all, you have the power of the pen, don't overdo it.
  • It is always satisfying to read a writer who attacks with force and skill the hypocrisies and illusions of the world around him, but we trust this writer even more when he attacks him too, does not set himself a standard. different or does not protect itself from the gaze of others. Be honest about how the events unfolded, as well as yourself.
  • If the reader feels that the writer is lying to himself or is using the essay as a propaganda tool or highlighting his own personal mythology in a way that is too clumsy or transparent, he will react negatively to it. So stay honest in what you write.
Write a Memoir Step 6

Step 2. Have a beginning and an end

This means having a straightforward, clear, and no-frills start and end before you start writing your story. If your twin sister stole your boyfriend on March 14, 1989, and you ended up visiting his children in September 2010, this is the beginning and end of your story. You must then write the rest.

Remember: this is your story. Whether you consider what happened to you crazy or trivial, if you write in a compelling way, your readers will be hooked and enjoy reading you

Write a Memoir Step 7

Step 3. Corroborate the facts

After all, memoirs are based on truth. Dates, times, names, people, sequences of events, even the tiniest of details are important. The last thing you want is for some evidence to come out that proves you've tampered with the truth. You may want to change the name of people or places to avoid problems, but put a warning at the top if you do.

Corroborate what can be and imagine what can only be imagined. That's when you get to reinvent who you are. The state you are in when remembering affects the memory to the point where it will be adjusted / changed the next time you remember it. Make it according to your brain and know that your mind is timeless

Part 3 of 3: Perfecting Your Job

Write a Memoir Step 8

Step 1. Review your work

Does it evoke what you wanted to evoke? Is nothing left out? Are questions asked and left unanswered? Is your text clear? Does he move you?

  • Good memories are entertaining. They don't necessarily have to be funny, but deliberately "something". What do they teach the reader? Why would he let go of his worries and start caring about yours?
  • In addition to checking for content errors, check grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Your computer will not find everything. If you have a close friend or family member who is particularly good at it, ask them for help.
Write a Memoir Step 9

Step 2. Delete things

Not everything you write is good. After taking a break, start again, dissect and eliminate unnecessary and repetitions.

Every moment of your existence is not necessarily worth noting. If an event is not a natural part of history, then it has nothing to do with you. Include only what will take you to your end without a detour on the way

Write a Memoir Step 10

Step 3. Let a small group read your work

After you've revised as much as you can, give your briefs to a few trusted friends for feedback and comments. If any recurring things stand out in their comments, then this is a good indication of what needs further revision. Don't be shy and look for a professional editor if necessary.

  • Whether or not someone is in your memories, be careful. Do not force her to read against her will whether you mentioned it (even more so if it is in a negative way) or not: you will only get a negative reaction.
  • Constructive criticism is essential to your work. Sometimes you may not see things that others will notice, and their input can definitely help you improve your job.


  • Be kind to yourself. Writing memoirs is a very personal and possibly heartbreaking journey to the heart.
  • Good memories are rich in color, metaphors, comparisons, descriptions, dialogues and feelings that will bring them to life.
  • Memories must have a beginning, a middle and an end, as well as a problem, a conflict and an ending.
  • Memories are different from an autobiography because they take a "snapshot" of certain events in a person's life. Memoirs tend to read more like a novel. Usually, memoirs are written in more colorful language than an autobiography and only relevant information is included. You should therefore avoid putting the smallest detail of your life into it.

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