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AWP Session

WRITING A MEMOIR? WELCOME TO MY DREAM / NIGHTMARE!

Writing a memoir is a lonely process, very therapeutic and cathartic for me.  At the AWP conference in Chicago this month, bestselling memoirists gave out priceless tips and helped me to feel like the process is worthwhile and important, in fact, critical, inspiring me to keep trudging forward.

Here is some inspiration from authors who have lived through (and survived) the memoir writing process, publication, publicity and profound discoveries:

TOP 12 TREASURED TIPS:

  1. Memoir is as much about the future as it is about the past.
  2. Personal, private, painful. As an artist, this is what we write about.
  3. I am NOT exposing, but EXPLORING this topic/subject.
  4. The impetus to start writing about my life is the feeling that I have to write it.
  5. Writing my memoir is NECESSARY, there is NO choice!
  6. I am inviting readers into my life, just like a guest in my home.
  7. Understanding my family stories FREE me.
  8. The more enjoyable the writing, the less money I will probably make. If it feels like work, I am likely to make more.
  9. Don’t forget to describe myself, too…I am a character.
  10. Give the reader a home – a familiar place like the kitchen table, school, playground, comfy chair, etc.
  11. Using past self to present self – that modulation of voice allows reader to be spectator AND participant.
  12. Getting published is highly addictive.  (This is one addiction I plan to embrace!)