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Write a Powerful Memoir in 7 Steps

That’s the question I set out to answer when I started writing my own memoir, Crowdsourcing

You need to work out what it is about your life or career that will really interest

If you were trying to sell your story, how would you tell it?

Follow the steps below to identify your key "plot points", and then learn how to bring them

Penning a good book about my life has been the hardest challenge of my writing life

Why are memoirs so hard to write? To be clear, writing a book about your life isn’

Here are just a few things that made writing a memoir hard for me:

It took me five years, thousands of hours, and gallons of sweat and tears to learn how

The first lesson to writing a memoir that’s actually good is to realize you can’t

Good memoirs pass along an important life lesson to your readers

What lesson did you learn through the situation you experienced?

Now that you have your one-sentence premise, let’s use it to get to the heart of

One of the most important things I learned about writing a great memoir was from Shawn Coyne,

death, and your very first scene needs to be about one of the biggest life and death

If you want to use the same method to figure out what your memoir is really about,

When you’re writing a book, whether a memoir, a novel, or a non-fiction book, it’s

Your second draft is better than your first, and your third draft is better than your second

Create a consequence that will happen if you don’t meet that deadline

The next step is to rewrite your one-sentence premise based on what you’ve learned from your

Here’s how to do it: Once you finish your first draft, set it aside for a

It should still contain those three elements we discussed above: a character, a situation, and a lesson

Anything that doesn’t build the character, fit the situation, or point to the life lesson in

I couldn’t help but try to pack more and more into my story, but when I

You can write another great memoir, even one about parallel events

Now that you have only the most important scenes, you need to make them good!

Not sure how to do this (or even what I’m talking about)? Here’s a guide

Second drafts are for the structuring work we’re talking about in steps 4–6

Also look for ways to enhance the drama of each scene, each paragraph, each sentence

” I had that phrase toward the end of the paragraph, but by bringing it to the beginning,

Writing an entertaining, instructive, emotionally powerful memoir is hard

I think it’s the hardest form, harder than a novel, non-fiction book, or short story

But if you can avoid the temptation to tell everything, if you can focus instead on telling