Saturday, August 27, 2011

Your finished memoir: How do you envision it?

When you close your eyes and picture your finished memoir, what do you see?

Have you chosen a title for your book? (If so, let me know!)

Imagine your memoir’s cover. What will it look like?

Dream big!

These days we have a myriad of publishing options. We’ll cover them more fully in the future but for now, you can start thinking about a few:

  • a published hardbound or softbound book (either self-published or with an agent and/or publishing company)
  • a three-ring binder
  • a scrapbook-like format
  • a spiral-bound book from your local print shop or office supply store
  • a digital book compiled on the Internet (Is that the same thing as an e-book? I'll let you know.)

While you mull over your title, cover, and publishing options, pray for a clear sense of what you want your stories to accomplish in the lives of your readers—children, grandchildren, and other special people.*

Then, grab hold of that vision and make a plan.

This week your finished memoir might seem only a blurry dream, but planning for it now will help speed you toward that glorious accomplishment.

“Little is accomplished by those who dillydally.”
Donald Grey Barnhouse

Strategize, organize, and establish short-term and long-term goals for completing your memoir.

Get out your calendar and schedule weekly writing times.

And remember the beauty of memoir.*  It’s not autobiography!

In memoir, you don’t need to start with the day of your birth and include details about preschool, elementary, middle school, high school and college.

Facts that are imperative for a résumé are optional in memoir.

Memoir is a slice of life, a story or collection of short stories along a specific theme.

In Spiritual Memoirs 101, our theme comes from several Bible verses that tell us to remember what we’ve seen God do and be sure to tell our children and grandchildren. (See Deuteronomy 4:9 and 6:4-9, for example.)

And do this: Circle a date—probably on your new 2012 calendar—to finish your memoir’s rough draft.

Yes, go ahead! Do it!

Do it now!

And have fun!

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  1. You have me thinking... and planning. *smile* I just browsed through your archives and bookmarked several very helpful posts. Thanks!


  2. Wonderful, De! I love your little *smile* comment -- I'm soooo curious!

    I'm working on some really fun posts for the next couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to sharing them with you and the others!


  3. Oh,Linda, how I love these gentle nudges sent out by you through cyberspace just when I need them the most as I try to shape all my vignettes into a story that I hope will make a difference to others. I cherish these pearls that ring true and inspire me to keep moving forward to "get a clear sense of what I want my story to accomplish." Thank you so much!

  4. You're a good teacher. I don't have any plans to write a memoir. No desire, either. But this post? It makes me wish I did. :)

  5. I echo deidra. I wish I had plans to write... anything! :)

  6. Kathleen, your words always bless me and encourage me to keep at it! Like I have said before, I pray each day that God will use the blog to help others and if He is doing so, my heart is jumping up and down in thankfulness. I'm so excited about your memoir and look forward to reading it once it's in print! I'm happy to help in any way I can.

    Now, Deidra and Duane -- You're already doing the hardest part: you have written and continue to write your blog posts! Most if not all of those are memoir materials! You might want to tweak a little here and there, but you could print out blog posts and put them in 3-ring binders with photos and you'd have a memoir! Later you could get it published if that's of interest to you. Think about it. Pray about it!


  7. Great tips for memoir writing. In my opinion memoir writing is the hardest type of writing.

  8. Hi, Lynda, thanks for stopping by. I've been enjoying following your blog, especially your recent one about "the shinies." Good stuff!


  9. Oh, Sheila, I didn't mean to cause a negative reaction! Sorry!

    What fills you with panic? Choosing a title? Thinking about your cover? Circling a date on the calendar?

    Like I told Deidra and Duane, you've already written your blog posts; perhaps they could serve as vignettes (chapters) for your memoir. Some might need a little tweaking, but perhaps you've already done a lot of work toward a finished memoir.

    Let me know if I can help!


  10. Hey, Linda - try contacting me at dtrautwein at gmail dot com - can't find your personal facebook page either!

  11. Hi, Diana, I hope you got my e-mail! :)