Why should you consider creating a memoir of your personal experiences for publication?
Who would want to read your life story?
I believe the main reason you may want to think about writing a memoir of your life is fairly simple. Everyone has different experiences in life that we learn from, that shape our lives, that hurt us, help us, give us insight, and allow us to grow.
As writers, I think, we have a gift for words and a unique ability to share our thoughts with others in an interesting, stimulating, intriguing, and effective format.
Why not write about what we know better than anything - our own life experiences?
If you're wondering who would care about what you may have to say, you should think about how your experiences may be similar to others, may help others to solve their own problems, provide people with food for thought or offer a new perspective to an old topic.
There may be several ways to make your memoirs publishable and profitable. Below is my little list of suggestions to get you started.
- Think about the times of your life that were particularly emotional, poignant or influential in your overall development. Focus on a specific time frame and the key events that lead up to your memorable experience. Create a plan for your autobiography with this theme in mind.
- Review photos, scrapbooks, and any other images that may trigger your memory to a vivid recollection of a specific experience. Being able to visualize the events as the unfolded will help you to create the scene, develop characters, and add the essential details for readers to really see what you're talking about. You want them to feel like they were there with you. You don't want to tell them about it. You want to show them.
- Create emotion with your words. Make sure you share your true story in a way that stimulates thinking, provokes feelings, expresses moments that are somehow similar or related to the experiences of other people. Don't be generic. Be original and invidual, but make it clear why your story is different, why it matters, what you learned, what they can learn, how it effected your life etc...
- Remember that your memory of how events transpired may not mirror the memories of your friends or family members. Don't be afraid to tell your story as you remember it, but also don't be surprised if others are offended by what you say. Think about how what you write will effect others before you submit your work to any publisher.
Gotham Writers' Workshop