Memoir & Legacy Writing


If You Can Write a Letter, You Can Start Your Memoir 1

WHEN IT COMES TO WRITING MEMOIR, the most frequently asked question I receive is, “How do I start?” My brief answer is, “You start by starting. You write what comes. Don’t worry about the form or the content at this point. Just write.” And that’s true. But what would-be memoirists […]


Blogtalk: A Roundup of Memoir Writing Tips 4

WRITING A MEMOIR, whether it’s your first go-round or your tenth, is a daunting and sometimes discouraging undertaking. It requires a certain amount of grit, determination, and courage. It can also be helpful to read how others have done it and gain wisdom from their experiences. So this week, I’ve rounded […]


How to Write a Scene 11

 A good writer can conjure a landscape and its peoples to live inside you, and the best writers make you feel they’ve disclosed their soft underbellies. — Mary Karr, The Art of Memoir WHEN YOU READ A MEMOIR, what about that author’s story evokes emotion in you? What makes the […]


What Makes a Memoir “Good”? 11

WITH THE APPROACH of St Patrick’s Day, I got the idea that it would be appropriate — and fun — to write a piece about taking writing inspiration from Irish memoirs, meaning memoirs written by Irish authors. But I quickly realized that aside from Angela’s Ashes, that great classic of […]


Entanglements: Writing About Family 9

WHEN YOU SET OFF TO WRITE ABOUT YOUR LIFE, you will end up, at some point, wonder how much to include about your family members. Especially if you’re revealing family secrets, which memoirs tend to do. Even when journaling about family, you may worry that family members will some day […]


How to Bring Memories from the Fog to the Light of Day 3

ONE OF THE CHALLENGES of writing memoir is pulling partial memories into full and clear focus, and remembering the concrete details surrounding those memories. You might want to write about your first day of school, the first time you met your stepmother, or your relationship with your father. But when you […]


A Day for Remembering 3

Memorial Day is a day set aside to remember and honor the fallen men and women who died in the course of war and in service to our country. It is a day to remember who they were in their daily lives, a day to remember their stories, and to […]


Journaling for Memoir: Why It’s a Good Idea 6

Imagine: You sit down to work on your memoir. You’ve made an outline of significant life events, and you’ve identified where you want to start. Or you decide to just go through life events chronologically. As you write, you’re attempting to craft a story, but you don’t yet know where you’re […]