How to Write a Memoir | Step-by-Step Writing Guide & Samples

Written by

Alex Brian

8 mins read
how to write a memoir

Everyone has a story to tell. A memoir is a personal account of your life experiences. It can be anything from the highlights of your childhood to the challenges you’ve faced as an adult.

If you’re thinking about writing a memoir, it’s important to start by understanding the steps involved in the process.

In this blog post, we’ll break down the steps for writing a memoir and provide some helpful tips and examples along the way.

So whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been working on your memoir for some time, keep reading for everything you need to know!

What is a Memoir?

A memoir is a type of writing that tells the story of your life. Memoirs are based on your personal memories, and they can be either factual (based on real events) or fictional. They can also be considered a type of biography or autobiography.

Since the 20th century, memoirs and biographies have been considered different genres. Memoirs tell the story of a particular time, while biographies share the stories and experiences of the writer's life. Autobiographies are pieces of documents that share these same things.

One such example of memoirs is ‘Eat Pray Love memoir’, ‘Men We Reaped: A Memoir’, and ‘Becoming’.

Types of Memoir

The most common types of memoir are as follows:

  • Personal Memoir - A personal memoir is a type of writing that tells the story of an event or experience. Memoirs often discuss the hardest parts of the writer’s life difficult, like child abuse, harassment, and divorce.
  • Portrait Memoir - This type of writing does not share the author's personal experience but someone else's story or an event.
  • Coming of Age Memoir -This type of writing is about telling the story of how you changed from a child to an adult. You share events and experiences from your childhood and how they affected you.
  • Spiritual Quest Memoir - Spiritual seekers often ask themselves why they are here and what the purpose of life is. Here, the writer looks for spiritual meaning in things.
  • Travel Memoir - A travel memoir is a type of writing that tells the story of a particular journey and the different adventures that took place during it.
  • Confessional Memoir - In this writer, the author discusses his wrongdoings and how he fixed them.
  • Political Memoir - This document is usually written by a public officer who shares historical records and other experiences.
  • Public or Celebrity Memoir - Celebrities write public memoirs to share their feelings and experiences about being famous.

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How to Start a Memoir?

If you want to write your memoir professionally, you need to start it in the right way. If the beginning is not good, your memoir will be terrible.

Memoir writing is not a science, and there are no set rules that everyone must follow. However, professional memoir writers often use a step-by-step process to make the task simpler.

If you are struggling to get started, try following the advice of these experts.

  • 1. The Brainstorm Event

    The first step in writing a good memoir is to think about events or experiences that are worth sharing with the audience. The story of life should reflect its significance and importance for you as well as the audience.

    Moreover, it is important to consider whether the event is interesting or not. People will not read the entire content if it is not exciting.

    So, to grab the reader's attention towards the text, it must be compelling and striking.

  • 2. Identify the Type

    There are different types of memoirs that people write. For example, if you want to write about a particular event in your life, you would write a personal memoir.

    But if you want to write about someone else's story, you would write a portrait memoir.

  • 3. Identify the Audience

    Knowing who your audience is for your writing is essential. No matter what type of writing it is, the author should be aware of their target audience to make it effective.

    Knowing who the readers are will help make the content more interesting and appropriate for them.

  • 4. Create an Outline

    If you want to write a memoir, you need to have a good structure and outline. This will make your document easier for readers to understand. You need to organize your memories first, and then create an outline based on that.

    The main point of a memoir is usually a major memory or story. So, you need to decide on the turning point of your memoir and make sure that all the information supports it.

    A memoir doesn't have to be in chronological order. You can choose the order that makes the most sense for your audience. Check out this example to see how to write a memoir outline.

    Memoir Outline Sample

    Memoir Outline Sample

  • 5. Think of an Interesting Title

    Come up with a good title for your essay. The title is the first thing that people will see, so make sure it is interesting and catches their attention.

    It is a narrative type of writing where the writer tells a story. The title can be formal or informal, depending on what the writer wants.

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How to Write a Memoir?

Now that you have taken all the necessary pre-writing steps, it is time to start writing your memoir. The following are the steps you should take to write a memoir.

  • 1. Start with a Hook Statement

    Start your memoir by writing a catchy hook statement. This is the first line of your memoir that must be extremely interesting. It will encourage people to read the entire document.

    There are a few different ways to start writing a memoir. Some people prefer to start with a compelling story that is related to the main theme of their memoir.

    Others prefer to start in the middle of the story, and then go back and tell the beginning and end. As long as your story is compelling and interesting, it doesn't really matter which way you choose to write it.

    Related: 7 Compelling Essay Hooks and Hook Example to Start your Essay

  • 2. Focus on Details

    Write your memoir in a way that shows, rather than tells. The reader should be able to see what you are trying to say.

    Paint the picture with words that highlight the relevant details, using correct words. All the feelings, emotions, and details should be explicitly stated so that the audience would experience them too.

  • 3. Avoid Common Mistakes

    Even though you are telling your story, avoid making yourself look like a complete victim or hero. If you want people to understand you and your story, let them decide what your strengths and weaknesses are.

  • 4. Proofread the Content

    Proofreading your memoir is essential to make sure it's free from mistakes. You should read through the work, checking for every detail ( both major and minor errors) and book-length.

  • 5. Get the Different Point-of-Views

    Before you publish your memoir, get the point of view of the people around you. Ask your family and friends to read it and analyze their reactions. See if they understand the message you are trying to send and if they find it interesting or not.

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Memoir Examples

When starting a new assignment or document, it is important to look at examples to see how it is done. This will help you understand the purpose of the assignment and what the audience expects.

Here are some examples to help you write a successful memoir.

Political Memoir Sample

Political Memoir Sample

Simple Memoir Sample

Simple Memoir Sample

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Professional Tips to Write a Memoir

People often need a lot of time to write a memoir. This is because it involves creative thinking and good writing skills.

If you are writing a memoir for the first time, it can be helpful to look for professional writing tips to make your memoir interesting and compelling.

Follow our professional tips if you want to write an amazing memoir,

  • Avoid Writing the Whole Autobiography

    Memoirs focus on a specific event in a person's real life. They usually cover a short story, so the audience won't get bored. It can be tough to share your whole life's true story, so avoid doing that.

  • Create a Sensory Experience

    Your memoir should allow people to see your life experiences. Describe events and incidents using sensory details to make the content interesting for the audience.

  • Take a Creative Start on the Beginning

    To make your memoir interesting for readers, avoid starting from the beginning of the story. Do not share the events in chronological order. Instead, pick something from the middle of your story and start there.

  • Use a Unique Approach

    Try to recreate scenes and dialogue in an engaging way to make your memoir interesting and attention-grabbing. This will help keep readers hooked until the end.

  • Present Focused Characters

    Don't talk about every character in your life. Talk about the ones that are important to the story you want to tell.

  • Write Frequently

    If you want to write a memoir, you should write every day. You should make a schedule and work on it every day.

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