What is the story of your life? How will share your legacy with others?
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You,” wrote Dr. Seuss in his children’s book Happy Birthday to You! published in 1959. The book was always a classic in our house, prescribed for adults and children alike.
Just like Dr. Seuss said, the memories you’ve made over the years and the experiences you’ve had up to this point are what have made you you. But who else knows your life’s stories? Who else knows your memories? Who else knows what makes you and your life stand out from all the rest? Simply put, who else knows what makes you you?
To write your memoirs is to share a life well-lived with family, friends and loved ones, and perhaps even share your legacy with history and the world at large. So why not try it? Like life itself, to write your memoirs is a satisfying journey that will ultimately produce something unique and irreplaceable. What are you waiting for?
Today I’d like to share with you the essentials you’ll need for writing your memoirs.
You will need to find adequate time to write.
There are many ways to write your memoirs, perhaps as many ways as there are people. You might start by typing directly onto a blank page, simply writing from beginning to end. Or you might start by recording yourself telling your best stories, and then start writing based on these recordings. Or you might start by creating an outline, carefully planning the journey your memoirs will take. However you write your memoirs, keep in mind that they are written works that come in book form. A short memoir is often 65,000 words and a long memoir 90,000 words. But don’t be put off by word counts. After all, that’s not what it’s about. It’s about you and the stories you tell.
As long as you focus on sharing your memoirs with others and make steady progress towards your memoir-writing goal, then I guarantee that you can write your memoirs sooner than you think.
Can you write 1,000 words every day? That’s 1,000 words of memories and reflections; 1,000 words closer to your goal every day. Or if that sounds like too much, then how about a goal of 3,000 words every week? You can also start with a smaller goal, like 200 words a day, and then ramp your way up to a larger goal over time.
You will need the right space to write your memoirs.
For some memoir writers, finding the right space to write is more of a physical task, while for others, it’s more of a mental task. Either way, consider where you would like to write and under what conditions. Consider what will help you advance and write your memoirs to the end.
Will you write at a desk, in a chair or standing up? Will you write at home, in a tent in the woods or in a coffee shop? Will you write alone or surrounded by others? Will you write in silence, listening to music or listening to the sounds around you?
Do you prefer to have the same writing routine, perhaps always wearing the same hat or drinking the same type of coffee, or do you like to vary it?
Do you want to write a whole draft of your memoirs before getting anyone else involved? Or do you crave feedback as you go along?
Do you want to tell others that you’re writing your memoirs? Or do you want it to be a pleasant surprise?
What kind of space can you inhabit that will allow you to freely write your memoirs?
You will need the right motivation to get to the finish line and see your work in print.
The world is full of good intentions. And great ideas. And half-finished tasks. Only the right motivation—a real passion for your memoir-writing project—will be able to sustain it and nurture it to the end.
Think about what motivates you to write your memoirs. Is it your desire to share your life stories with family and loved ones? Is it your wish to leave a legacy? Is it your hope to reflect upon all that you’ve done in life?
Whatever it is that drives you to write your memoirs, always keep your motivation top of mind! It’s entirely possible to get temporarily frustrated three-quarters of the way through and want to take a break from it. Take a short break if you must, but don’t quit altogether. Half-finished projects have merit, but not nearly as much as finished ones do. Don’t let your memoirs slip away from you without a fight.
Seize your motivation and see your memoirs through. I guarantee that you will be glad you did when you hold your finished memoirs in your hands and other people are able to read all those unique stories you have to tell. After all, no one else can tell them like you can.
“To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world,” wrote Dr. Seuss.
Dudley Court Press
Dudley Court Press works with writers like you every day. As a full-service, hybrid publishing house, we help thoughtful people write their books and become successful published authors.