Write and publish your memoir - in half the time
- Are you aiming to capture a period of your life in a book?
- But maybe you’re struggling to publish your memoir?
- And would you love to see your memoir on Amazon?
We’re here to help you overcome these obstacles. Our coaches have years of experience with writing and publishing autobiographies. And that means we can guide you every step along the way to your goal – a finished book.
Just imagine yourself with your finished memoir in your hands. What pride, sense of accomplishment, and sheer joy you’ll feel at having gone through with it and actually having a tangible result.
It’s a legacy you can leave for generations to come.
- Have you gone through a difficult or exciting period in your life that you now want to capture in a memoir?
- Have you gained some great insight from an experience that you’d like to share?
Whether you want to write just for your closest family or for a wider audience, there are many great reasons to write your autobiography. Here are some of the most common ones.
Why do you want to write your memoir?
1. You want to tell your story
The most straightforward reason to write is to share your story.
As humans, we connect through story. When others read your story, they might feel inspired, emboldened or relieved. They might want to reach out to you and let you know that you are not alone. They might want to learn from you how they, too, can overcome their obstacles.
2. To share your learning
We put a lot of energy and effort into being successful. We learn through trial and error and make a lot of mistakes along the way.
As a consequence, you may be proud of what you’ve achieved at the end of it. And you might also want to share our experiences with others, to save them some of the grief.
3. To help you process your thoughts and feelings
Writing your story down can be quite therapeutic and help you process some difficult feelings and move past certain incidents.
The writing process will enable you to see different perspectives and to interpret some incidents anew, which can facilitate healing.
4. To figure out the ‘Why’
Revisiting some of the most important events in our life can reminds you of the good things in life or the progress you’ve made.
That, in turn, may help you figure out why life is worth living or what its purpose might be.
5. To leave a legacy
Many of us are interested in how our grandparents lived, what challenges they faced, what made them happy, and how they managed to overcome obstacles and persevere.
It stands to reason that our own grandchildren will be just as interested in our life. Your autobiography will help them get some insight into what moved you, and what you learned.
Two reasons not to write a memoir
As we’ve seen, there are many reasons to write a memoir and yours might not be listed above.
But there are two reasons that might not serve you well when writing your memoir: to get revenge or to make a lot of money. If you’re motivated by either, you might want to re-think your decision to write an autobiography.
The memoirs that sell well are mostly by celebrities, actors and sports people. That said, Toni Maguire has made £1.7m from her book: ‘Don’t Tell Mummy: A True Story of the Ultimate Betrayal’. And Elizabeth Gilbert has sold 341,000 copies of ‘Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything’.
And yes, anger can be successful. ‘Anger is my Middle Name’ by Lisbeth Zornig Andersen has 821 4.5-star ratings on Amazon UK.
And one thing that all publishers know is: they don’t know what will sell!
What we’ll help you with
No two memoirs are the same, as they’re such personal stories. However, there are certain things that all memoirs have in common. Those are the things we’re going to coach you on.
Here are the essential elements that will make your memoir an engaging read and help you convey the point you are making, i.e. the insight you’re sharing.
Do You Have a Story Worth Telling?
You might wonder whether your story merits writing a memoir. Surely there are people out there whose lives are much more exciting than yours?
That may be so, but you’re sure to have had a unique journey; and some deeply personal insights will have resulted from it.
Your grandchildren or great-grandchildren are sure to be interested in who you were and what experiences you had.
Depending on the theme of your memoir, there might be other people who benefit from your insights or just enjoy reading about your life because it is so different from their own. T
here’s a series of books called Memoirs of a Country Vet that just tell everyday stories from the life of a vet in the countryside. The draw of these stories is that they allow you to escape to a quaint kind of life in the countryside, a simpler life.
Just like novels, the best memoirs either allow us to escape by immersing ourselves in someone else’s story for a while. Or they let us learn something we can translate into our own lives by hearing about how someone else resolved a problem or challenge we’re facing.
How important is accuracy?
Another obstacle people often face when they want to write a memoir is the accuracy of their memories.
Since we don’t document everything we do, we often have to rely on fairly vague memories and we might worry about portraying others unfairly.
While it’s important to be honest, everyone knows that your memoir isn’t an accurate account of what happened. It’s more important to capture how something felt and the kind of thing that was said or would happen than the exact events.
Our coaching will guide you through tricky situations like that, showing you how you might collapse characters or amalgamate them into one character that represents a certain group of people.
What We Can Do for You
We can help you at any and all stages of the memoir-writing journey. Whether you have already started writing or are still just grappling with the idea, we’re here to support and guide you along the way.
Identify the Theme
A memoir is different from an autobiography, in that it doesn’t tell your whole life story, it focusses on a certain time in your life and a certain theme or life event.
It’s essential to identify that at the beginning of your writing journey, so it can provide the thread that keeps the reader engaged.
It is also different from a journal in that it’s not an account of your daily activities. A memoir is not so much about you as it is about what you have learned from certain experiences and events in your life.
Your coach will be there to help you choose the best angle from which to approach your story.
Organise and structure the story
Once you know what the central theme of your story is, we’ll guide you to structure the story around it.
It may become clear at this stage that you have material for more than one book. Again, we can help you.
Plan your plot and story arch
Even though a memoir is an account of true events, it still needs to use a lot of the elements of fiction to make it a good read.
Laying out your plot and designing your story arch are essential elements to crafting a great story.
This groundwork will make it much easier to decide what needs to go into your book and what you should leave out.
Understand the key elements of Memoir
Your memoir may be about an adventurous trip across Australia or your life in the suburbs as a single mother. You might be writing about one week or ten years of your life. But there are certain elements every memoir needs to have to make it a compelling story.
For example, it’s good to know about ‘the hero’s journey’, a common theme for all time. That’s where the hero (maybe you or a relative) faced a problem and overcame it.
Or you can move through time, comparing the past with the present. Or perhaps your memoir is built around a turning point in your life?
Your writing coach can advise you on how to craft your story with these essential building blocks.
Capture the essence
There are so many anecdotes that make up a life. Some are amusing, some are moving, others are valuable lessons.
Each anecdote has meaning to you. But not all of them belong in your memoir. It’s important to capture only what contributes to the main story and to do it in a way that ‘shows rather than tells’. Having a neutral person to discuss these decisions with is valuable in the writing process.
Holding You accountable
We all need a gentle nudge at times. Life is busy and there are always so many things to do.
In order to finish your memoir and cross this item off your bucket list, it helps to have someone to not only keep you accountable but also save you tons of time and energy in research (on how to write a good memoir) – time that you can then invest into writing your memoir.
We can make a writing plan for you and encourage you to stick with it.
We all know how good it feels to follow through and finally finish a big project. We also all know the nagging feeling of having an unfinished project in the drawer. It’s always there at the back of your mind, waiting for you to complete it.
Here’s your chance to not only finish your memoir in half the time but also get it published. One more notch to add to your belt!
Getting Started on Your Memoir
Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. You can always just get in touch with us right away but if you’d like to make some inroads on your own before you do, then we have a few tips for you here on how to get started:
1. Make a timeline
Make a rough timeline of the events that are relevant to your memoir. Get an overview over what time period you’re covering and when most of the action occurred.
The bulk of your memoir might focus on a specific time period but then you might supplement the story with flashbacks to give a bit more background and context.
In her bestselling memoir Wild, author Cheryl Strayed mainly talks about her hiking trip along the Pacific Crest Trail but she also uses flashbacks to help us understand how she got to this point in her life.
2. Brainstorm Ideas for Your Theme
What is the biggest thing you learnt from the period of your life in question? How did the events you want to write about change you as a person or your outlook on life? What is the message you would like to pass on to the reader through your memoir? In fact, if they were to only remember one thing after reading your book, what would you want that to be?
Answering some or all of the above questions should help you to get a few ideas around what your theme might be. Don’t censor yourself act first, just let everything flow and note it down during your brainstorming session.
Then, once the ideas have run dry, go over your notes and decide what seems relevant and what you can dismiss straight away. Maybe you’ll manage to figure out the one red thread that runs through this whole story or maybe you’ll only narrow it down to 3 or 4 possible themes. Don’t worry, we can always help you finalize the theme in a coaching session.
3. Form a Writing Habit
Every writer can tell you that writing is not always easy. Some days the words flow abundantly, other days you feel stuck and your mind seems to have gone completely blank.
That’s why it’s important to build a writing habit. Give yourself a rhythm, make writing part of your routine. As with any habit, it is always better to start with less and build the habit first, then to be overambitious and thus set yourself up for failure.
Plan to write for 10 minutes every day or 15 minutes every other day, for example, then you have virtually no excuse why you can’t manage it. If the words are flowing, you can always continue for longer. But if it is a difficult day, make yourself do at least the 10 minutes. Once the habit is formed, it will be easier to extend it. At this stage, though, focus on forming a habit that fits into your schedule first.
Why work with us?
- We guarantee you will be published
- We charge less than other coaching programmes
- We offer a complete programme where add-ons are truly optional
- We focus on non-fiction writing, and memoirs in particular
- We provide a dedicated memoir coach to support you, by phone & email
- We ensure you get published in half the time.
- We give a 30-day unconditional money-back guarantee.