Thursday, June 9, 2011

Writing Memoirs 4--Sharing Your Memoir

When most of us write, we want to convey more than the details of our lives.
We want to convey the meaning of our lives and the lives of those around us
.---Susan Carol Hauser, You Can Write a Memoir

Let’s fast forward to the time when you have completed your memoir and are ready to share it. First, I must caution you to remember this will be read now and in the future (perhaps e-books or some other device not even created yet). People not even born yet will be reading your story. You want to present the best story you can so that means revising, editing, and revisiting the story several times to polish it.

I realize these stories are very personal. Some of you may not be ready to write, let alone share, some of the painful stories in your life. Then do not write them. When you feel you can handle letting go of the story, then do it. Don’t feel you HAVE to write everything.

Above all, I believe when writing a memoir/life story, the writer must tell the truth at all times. For if the truth is not told, what is the point in writing the story? So, do not write it till the truth can be told throughout the entire story. Some day you will.

If you decide to publish your memoir I have listed some places for you to submit. Things change quickly in the publishing business, so google “memoir publishers” or “life story publishers” to keep up-to-date.


AARP Magazine Six Word Memoirs

Bookmaking—Blurb Books

·         Memoir Writing Sites

Write a memoir using only six words. This is a healthy exercise for you. Click on the link to give you some ideas. When it’s polished, submit to the magazine.
AARP Magazine Six Word Memoirs

I hope you are inspired to set down your stories as a gift for future generations. Thanks for following through this mini-workshop. Please make comments and ask questions. I will be here all day and Friday morning, then we are off with our four grandsons for a delightful camping trip. I will return Monday and check for any additions.

J Q Rose is the author of the mystery-light horror novella, Sunshine Boulevard, published by Muse It Up Publishing.


Nancy Bell said...

Great workshop, J. Q. I have written down a bunch of stories etc my dad and my gramma told us as kids so they don't get lost. I think it is very important for the next generation.


BarbaraB said...

J Q, this is a very helpful workshop. I keep a journal sporadically, but I've never attempted a memoir. I like your suggestions about simply ordering things in chronological order to refer back to later WHEN I GET THE TIME to write my memoir. I know the kids and grandkids would appreciate it.
Here is my 6 words memoir: My husband proposed under cherry trees.

J.Q. Rose said...

Nancy--Excellent! So happy to hear you have written down those stories so they won't get lost. Kudos to you! Now write down your story too...

J.Q. Rose said...

Barbara B--Thank you. I like that time line idea too. It certainly gets those ideas/memories out and ready to be written. Your 6 word memoir made me smile. Beautiful!

Rosalie Skinner said...

J Q, thanks for another great workshop. You have opened my eyes to what goes into writing a memoir. Thinking of someone in the future looking back makes a huge amount of sense when writing a life story, and a good reason for keeping a record of events.
Have a lovely weekend camping!

Charlie said...

Great thought JQ. Memoirs are special. I wish I could have written down all the stories of my dad and grandfather. They didn't feel they were very special, but to me they were everything! And I would love my children to know those wonderful people through their experiences, but alas, I only have fractured fragments. A good lesson to anyone and everyone that you ARE important enough to write your memoirs for your loved ones. Thanks!
C.K. Volnek

Wendy said...

Hi JQ,
What a wonderful workshop. You have put so much effort and time into showing us the importance of memoir. I'm old now, but I wish I had written down the fabulous stories my grandfather told me when I was young. I thought he'd live forever, so there'd be plenty of time. Do you know that wonderful man was still telling me a funny story as he was dying.

My grandkids don't seem too interested in our stories so it's hard to get the motivation to write what I know (oh that was a genuinely ironic slip).

I apologize to my parent and my g'parents for not keeping them alive for future generations. I hope I'll do better the next time around, and I truly salute the wonderful offspring who do.

six word memoir: Sunrise, foggy windscreen, bottled milk and breadrolls. :)
okay so that's seven, perhaps I embelished a little lol.

J.Q. Rose said...

Rosalie--It is so interesting to look back at life events from this side of the experience. Living your life at 10 and then re-living it at 60 sure makes you realize why certain events happened the way they did and discover explanations for why so many things happened.

J.Q. Rose said...

Yes, Charlie, even ordinary lives have importance. Each of us is special!

J.Q. Rose said...

Thank you, Wendy. Your six, er, seven word memoir sounds like a very interesting story. Write it down. Time to begin your life story...?