Category Archives: Memoir

The Idea of a Memoir (Part One)

A writer & her sentimental muse

Photo Credit: Princeton Public Library

The idea or writing a memoir keeps coming to mind time and time again.  Why should I write one?  Who would want to hear my story anyway? And, what the heck the difference between a memoir and autobiography?

I found this that proved quite helpful:

Photo Credit: Susan Calder

And to break it down to the actual characteristics of a memoir:

Photo Credit: Linkedin Slideshare (Click on image for original source)

My next challenge is whatto write about.   So much has happened over the course of my life, I don’t even know where to begin.  I went to my Twitter and started to browse through my tweets for the last year or so and I discovered two tweets where I managed to condense my life down to six words:

Unraveled by losses; rebuilt by love.


Life. Just tears in the rain.

The word…

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Why i wrote a memoir

Nancy Chadwick, Memoir Writer

1st Day

One August afternoon in 1967, Mom dressed me in a navy dress, patterned in tiny white polka dots, with an appliqué of paintbrushes and an artist’s palette in primary colors at the hem, and a white Peter Pan collar around my neck. White anklet socked feet, fitting snuggly into blood-red Mary Janes, anchored my chubby legs. While standing at attention in front of my house’s picture window with my feet together and my hands folded in front, I posed with my heels brushing against the yellow marigolds in full bloom under a toasty blanket of Indian summer sun. My birch tree buddy stood tall and arabesque in front of me, extending its tree branches in effort to shield me from the sun. I was present in those moments as I stood before my house and my tree waiting for my picture to be taken. Life was good.

This was my…

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Perseverance: My Word for 2018 by Lynette Davis

Patricia Ann Bridewell

My word for 2018 is perseverance—the ability to go on when things seem hopeless or when you don’t know how everything is going to turn out. As a writer and published author, I’ve learned that there are no guarantees in the business of writing, publishing and especially marketing. The odds are simply better in some situations than others. As writers and authors, it’s up to us to find out where the odds work best for us. And for that, we need perseverance. It takes perseverance to continue to forge ahead, day after day, week after week and month after month, toward our goals and ultimately—our dreams.

As you probably know, dreams are not obtained overnight, especially in the publishing world. Our dreams begin when we set literary goals and then put all our efforts into those goals—for a desired result. As writers, it’s nearly impossible to achieve any type…

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The Memoir Craze: Thinking of Jumping In?

Memoirs are the current rage. If you have noticed, maybe you are wondering if you should jump in and write one yourself. You aren’t alone. At this writing, over 150,000 titles on Amazon are memoir. Mind boggling. Maybe it’s because more people are now interested in reading memoir, prompting writers to cash in. Or maybe…

via The Memoir Craze: Thinking of Jumping in? — Women Writers, Women’s Books


Memoir: From Reality to Reality

Laughing Penguins

A memoir is often seen as a single-dimensional ‘truth’ about a writer, the writer’s self-expression or confession. A memoir, in in fact, is the writer’s perception of truth, and her need to express that perception in her chosen format.

And so, a memoir is the writer’s journey from reality of lived experience to the reality of ‘worded’ impressions.

There are things in a writer’s life that present themselves unasked, uninvited, right there at her desk; then there are moments that demand the writer’s focused attention to reveal themselves; finally there are faraway wraiths of memories that desperately seek writerly resolve, and vital emotional effort to divulge their core and deepest essence. This is the truth; so is that; and so is that.

On the other side, a reader of a memoir fixes her gaze on a single familiar face: this is what she thought, this is where she ate and…

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Using Triggers to Poke at a Character’s Emotional Wound

Kobo Writing Life

By Angela Ackerman

When it comes to acknowledging what hurts us, the old saying, Deny, deny, deny! comes to mind. Why? Because in real life we don’t want to appear weak, so when we suffer emotional pain, we often stuff it down deep and paste on a smile as if nothing is wrong. It’s no different with our characters, and in both cases, refusing to deal with wounding events carries a steep price.

Unresolved psychological pain doesn’t go away and hiding it only leads to dysfunction and unhappiness.

Emotional trauma is, by nature, painful. When it happens, our feelings are laid bare. So it’s no wonder that last thing anyone wants to do is unpack that vulnerability again to work through it. Avoidance seems better, but it leads to dysfunctional coping methods like bad habits, flaws, biases, and emotional reactiveness.

This type of emotional shielding keeps people and further possible…

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A long way home by Saroo Brierley


Amy A Long Way HomeNot the most beautifully written, A Long Way Home is an extraordinary story of a very small, lost, boy holding tight to his memories, being supported by his adoptive parents and using technology methodically and painstakingly to find his family. It is uplifting and hopeful, if not very revealing of personality.

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Why I prefer nonfiction over fiction

Sarahbeth Caplin

35244821086_e8236a33a9_z1-300x200Since I was a child, I’ve dreamed of becoming the next great American novelist. I have published a few novels, and yet none of them are quite as dear to my heart as my two memoirs. I realized something critical about myself the more I’ve devoted myself to nonfiction writing (mostly about the intersection of faith and politics): I’m not very good at making things up.

If there’s anything I’ve learned during my time as a graduate student of creative nonfiction, it’s that memoir writing, and even literary essays, can follow a story arc similar to what you’ll find in fiction: there is a beginning, a development of conflict, a set of characters (even if the only character is the writer herself), a middle, and a resolution. Like fiction, nonfiction doesn’t require a neat, tidy ending. But a decisive finishing point is required just the same.

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