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How To Start A Memoir About Your Life

by | Apr 25, 2016 | Tips For Writers | 2 comments

How To Start A Memoir About Your Life

Writing a memoir can sometimes seem fickle. You may think, “I’m not famous. Nothing memorable has ever really happened to me. What is the point?” However, you could not be more wrong. Everyone’s life has experiences that make them feel something deep within themselves. Writing these experiences down can not only help you as a person figure out your own feelings about life, but can help your readers too. Learning how to start a memoir is the first step to learning a little bit more about yourself.

Tips for How to Start a Memoir


The first tip for how to start a memoir is to realize that you are not writing an autobiography. A lot of people use the terms “memoir” and “autobiography” interchangeably, but they do not actually mean the same thing. An autobiography is about your entire life, from your birth until the present. A memoir on the other hand, focuses on one story from your life. One moment that you believe stands out in your own personal timeline. Now that you know exactly what a memoir is, it is time for you to learn the next step for how to start a memoir.

Tip two is to write out just a few of your favorite past experiences from your life and take a while to think about each one. You may think you have no interesting stories to tell, but if you do this and really take the time to reflect on certain events, I promise you will find at least one event in your past that is particularly meaningful to you. If you can find that event and feel passionately about, your writing will reflect that passion and your readers will feel it. Passion is what creates remarkable memoirs.

Tip three for how to start a memoir? Don’t write your memoir in chronological order! Your life may have happened in chronological order, but that doesn’t mean your memoir has to as well. Start out your memoir with a bit of action from the middle of the story you have decided to tell. This draws your readers in and makes them want to find out what led to that piece of action and what the outcome of the action will be. Start with action, and then jump to the chronological beginning. Entice your readers to read more about you.

The final tip I have for how to start a memoir is one I give for all forms of writing: use descriptive language! Descriptive language is what takes writing and pushes it up to another level. If you can describe with the senses what is happening in your story, it will give your readers the sense that they are there experiencing it with you. It will make your memoir real to all those who read it. Descriptive language is essential to creating a well written piece of literature. Your memoir will only benefit from it.

Knowing how to start a memoir is the first step to getting one of your own personal stories out there for the world to see. You may think you don’t have anything worthy to write about, but you are wrong. Gather your friends together and reminisce! You will find a story worth telling, this is your life, don’t downplay it. If you need help figuring out how to start a memoir, visit my website Write One Publications and reach out!

NEXT: How Writing A Book Can Advance Your Career

How To Start A Memoir About Your Life


  1. gbonjubee

    I found this really helpful, thanks.

    • writeabook

      Thanks for reading!