Your Life Story: 5 Tips for Writing a Memoir

Are you interested in writing a memoir about the amazing adventures you’ve taken throughout your life? If so, your book will need to stand out in the popular realm of autobiographies.

The publishing industry has seen an explosion in recent years. For example, in 2010, more than three million books were published in the United States alone. Yet, the average non-fiction book in the United States is selling fewer than 250 copies per year.

This clearly shows that selling an autobiography will not be a simple task. As such, you will need to follow some key strategies to create an excellent autobiography.

Follow our top five tips when writing a memoir. Let’s get right into it!

Figure out who your audience is

When you’re writing a memoir, you will need to have a good idea of who your audience consists of. Will it be geared toward a young audience or maybe your future grandchildren?

Or is this memoir going to be read by parents and middle-aged adults? Are you trying to write a story meant for men or meant for women?

You will need to figure out the age, gender, and background of your audience before you put pen to paper. Once you have your audience defined, you can then engineer your content to target that particular audience.

Write a short paragraph summarizing your life

Sit down and write down no more than three sentences defining the entirety of your life. Think about your past and the main things that have defined it.

You can focus on a particular relationship or a general theme. For example, have your kids made your life what it is today?

Or has your mother complicated your life? Have you ever been sick and now cherish your health?

Pick two or three things that have made the biggest impact on your life and put it down in words.

Come up with the main idea that defines your life

Every great autobiography consists of a core idea that unifies the entire book. Sometimes it might be based on a love story or maybe how you overcame obstacles through hard work and determination.

Essentially you will need to create a theme for your autobiography. Are there any key lessons you learned in life? Those lessons could build a theme around your book.

Come up with the main theme that builds a continuing interest for the reader.

Create an outline before writing a memoir

You need to organize your story line. Where will your memoir begin? Do you want to start with birth or skip ahead to middle school?

You can keep your story chronological or you can skip from scene to scene to keep the reader more engaged. Some authors decide to write their autobiographies around major events or themes.

Once you have decided on the order of your book, create a general outline and organize your plot. This will make writing your memoir much easier.

Edit your work

Once you have completed your autobiography, you need to sit down with a red pen and start marking it up. Don’t be afraid to take out whole paragraphs if they don’t flow well with your story line.

Editing your work is imperative before sending it to your publisher. We hope you have enjoyed reading the top five tips for writing a memoir.

If you have any questions, please contact us here.