Ever wanted to write your memoirs? Unsure where to start? Here are six how-to’s to guide you as you write.
First thing’s first: remember that a memoir isn’t supposed to be about your whole life. Instead, memoirs focus on a narrow time period in a life and tell stories that have some kind of thematic (but not necessarily chronological) relationship.
Start by deciding what event or period of your life your memoir will cover. By limiting your scope this way, you make the whole project more doable.
Now that you’ve settled on your theme write down all the memories you can associate with the time, place, or event you’re writing about. Childhood is a natural place to start, but don’t get hung up on chronology. Focus on writing or recording any story or memory that stands out. Organization can come later.
And don’t leave out the details! While they might seem mundane to you, it’s the little details—the little differences from life today–that will be of interest to your readers.
It can be helpful to flesh out your own recollections with those of friends and family members who were also involved. Hearing the story from someone else’s perspective might jog loose something else about a moment that you’d forgotten, or give you new insights or specific details about the events that you hadn’t thought about before. And maybe you’ll realize that you really do tell the story better than anyone else!
Friends and family may also have additional sources—like journals, photos, or video—that you can incorporate into your memoir to tell a much fuller version of the story.
Your family and your readers want to know about your actual life, so don’t embellish (for better or worse!) People want to learn more about you and look for lessons in your experience that they can apply to their own lives, so hearing about what actually happened (and not a tall tale) will help them the most.
But while honesty is best, remember you’re not writing a tell-all. Everyone has people and events in their past that are, for whatever reason, difficult to talk about. That’s okay. You’re the author of your own story, so what you include (or don’t) is entirely your choice. Your story can still be rich and interesting without these moments.
Sometimes, if you’re not famous, you can put off writing a memoir, thinking “Who wants to hear about me?” But everyone is interesting! That’s what makes memoir so compelling. And the way you tell your story can be just as engaging as the actual content.
Ever read something by someone you knew, and you could almost hear it in their voice? That’s because they let their voice and personality come through in their writing. If you do the same your readers will find your book hard to put down. So don’t be afraid to let your personality and way of seeing the world be your guide in writing your memoir. Your readers will thank you.
Memoir is a very personal, intimate kind of storytelling. It calls for emotion, memory, and examining how events impacted the storyteller in a personal way. Memoir can include things like dialogue, character description, and evocations of mood and setting.
Even if you’re not the most forthcoming person in everyday life, writing a memoir is one place where it pays to open yourself up. If you’re hesitating or finding it difficult to allow yourself vulnerability, try imagining you’re writing for just one specific person whom you know and trust—a spouse, perhaps, or a best friend. Imagine you’re telling them and only them the full story, and you may find the resistance begin to fade.
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Can you spare five minutes a day? Then you can create a memoir with the Memoir app from LifeTales! Free yourself from the keyboard, and record video, audio, or post pictures to fill in another bit of your life story. And with your loved ones joining you on the app, the possibilities to expand the stories being told are endless! Try it free today.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once and a while you could miss it.”
– Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
How much do you really know about your Mom and Dad, or your Grandparents? Our older family members have so many precious memories to share, ones that have shaped them, and through them our whole family’s history and identity.
Who changed their life? What were the most important lessons they learned? What were their hopes for the future?
What will your kids know about them? What do they know about you? Who will remember?
Maybe you’ve considered doing a memoir for yourself or trying to inspire a loved one to tell their story, but it is something that has been pushed off to “someday.” Someday never comes, however, because it is too daunting a project, needing planning, researching, and being chained to a keyboard to write it all down.
But not anymore!
Because with the free Memoirs app by LifeTales, we’ve made it easy and fun to capture, share, and preserve your family stories digitally in just minutes a day. Create stories using any combination of pictures, video, video-selfies, and audio voiceovers on images. And yes, you can type, too!
Stories from years ago won’t change, but they will be lost. Preserve them, starting today!
Can you spare five minutes a day? Then you can create a memoir with the Memoir app! In just a few short minutes a day you can record a story, or post a picture, and fill in another bit of your life for your loved ones.
How long would it take you to type out a story from your life? How long would it take your parent or your grandparent? What if you didn’t need to rely on a keyboard to tell your story?
Just hit “Record” in the Memoirs app and record a video of you telling your story.
When you’re ready you can add titles and text comments to the videos, and even upload photos and add audio captions to pictures to explain to your loved ones who is in the photo and what’s happening.
Unlike other social media apps, Memoirs by LifeTales uses the latest end-to-end encryption technology.
Your story is uploaded securely to the cloud for you and shared only with other people using the Memoirs app who you authorize to have access to your stories. So you share only with the people who matter most.
And with multiple family members on the app the possibilities to expand the stories being told are endless!
Our parents and grandparents have so many stories to tell, ones that help us connect not only with their past but with our own.
With the Memoirs app, you can sit down with them and have a conversation, asking them the questions you’ve always wanted to and record their memories.
And to prompt their memory you can always send them questions as video messages on their phone, tablet, or computer. There’s magic in being asked a question — especially if it’s from a child or grandchild. What grandparent could say no? And their answers often lead to more questions!
The best thing about the Memoir app by LifeTales is that you don’t have to wait to start sharing your stories!
If you wrote a traditional memoir, you’d have to wait for a full book to be completed before you could share it with your friends and loved ones. But with the Memoirs app you can start sharing stories right away, passing along your latest video or photo as soon as you create them.
And you always retain full ownership of everything you create and post — forever.
So don’t wait until it’s too late. Whether it’s for you or a loved one, start writing a memoir today, one short story at a time.
Whether you’re curious to learn more about memoir, or you’re ready to start documenting your own life story today, download the Memoir, by LifeTales app and begin recording something your loved ones will cherish for years.
Putting together a memoir can be intimidating. How can you be expected to document your whole life? All those dates, and times, and place names… Who can remember them all?
But do you need to? Is that really what a memoir is? The answer may surprise you.
A ‘memoir’ and an ‘autobiography’ may seem like the same thing in most people’s minds. But there are important differences, and compiling a memoir is significantly easier than working up an autobiography. So, if it’s the amount of work that’s holding you back, good news! By crafting a memoir and not an autobiography you can save yourself time and effort and complete the project sooner.
How does memoir differ from autobiography?
First, and maybe most importantly, a memoir isn’t supposed to be about your whole life—that’s for an autobiography. With a memoir, you don’t need to start at birth and describe in order everything that’s happened to you up to today.
Instead, a memoir is about stories. Memoirs focus on a narrow time period in a life or focus on stories that have some kind of thematic (but not necessarily chronological) relationship. You might create a memoir about a particularly meaningful childhood summer spent at a cottage. Or you might collect stories about funny things that happened to you and your friends throughout your school career. Or do a memoir about your experiences as a parent.
A big advantage of using the Memoir, by LifeTales app to craft a memoir is that you can work out of order. You can write or record a story, or caption a photo, or upload a video and then save it for later. Once you have a bunch of pieces, stop and take a look. What do they have in common? Are there themes that are emerging? What other stories do you have that fit alongside those? Add them in! Later you can group and organize your content around these themes.
Autobiographies can seem more like accounts of history rather than of lived experience. They tend to focus on dates, times, places, and the order in which things happened.
Not so with memoir.
Memoir is more personal, more intimate. Memoir leaves more room for your voice, for emotion and memory, and for examining how events impacted the storyteller. Memoir can include things like dialogue, character description, and evocations of mood and setting.
By recording yourself in the Memoir, by LifeTales app you have a chance to give a very personal account of events. Just as you would when recounting a story to friends, working in the Memoir, by LifeTales app will ensure that your own style, tone, and character come through in the telling. This adds life and vibrancy to your stories that simple pen-and-paper could never capture.
Facts are essential in memoir, don’t misunderstand. Your loved ones want to know the truth of your life experiences. But unlike autobiography (which is very linear), memoir offers more space to play around with how and in what order the facts of events are presented.
With memoir, you should feel free to move backward and forward through time as you lay out not only events but their later resonance in your life. You might relate how something that happened years earlier was forgotten until a critical moment decades later. Or how a tragedy informed a later triumph or vice versa.
Think of it as approaching the story of your life thematically, rather than chronologically. You can focus on stories that give a sense of the significant events in your life, without necessarily telling them in order.
Whether you’re curious to learn more about memoir, or you’re ready to start documenting your own memoir today, download the Memoir, by LifeTales app and begin recording something your loved ones will cherish for years.