How to Get Started on Your Memoir

A 9-Point Guide from Dennis Lowery

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This guide is the equivalent of the following excellent advice for people who want to write a memoir:

“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six sharpening my ax.” –Abraham Lincoln

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The author, Dennis Lowery, is a professional writer, ghostwriter and publisher who has worked with dozens of clients on their books, several of which were memoirs. See the types of clients he works with here.

Some of Our Creative Output and Client Work Since 2010

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Written in a way that removes the two main obstacles that most people face when they want to write their memoir, this guide walks the reader through establishing the belief they can do it and then shows them exactly how. It’s important to understand that this IS NOT a guide to teach you how to become a writer. Countless books, courses, articles, and websites can help you with that. They can teach you proper grammar, structure and even how to format your manuscript for publication. This IS a guide to help you do what needs to come first, the most important steps you must take if you want to complete your memoir:

CREATING THE CORE COMPONENTS OF A ROUGH FIRST DRAFT

Intended—designed even—to change preconceived perceptions that form problems for most people new to a writing project of such scope, if followed, it removes the two largest barriers to getting started writing their memoir.

How to Get Started on Your MEMOIR by Dennis LoweryTable of Contents

YOU CAN DO IT—I’LL SHOW YOU HOW

  1. START WITH THIS IN MIND
  2. SUPERCHARGING YOUR TIME
  3. PREPARATION AND PLANNING TO CREATE & ORGANIZE YOUR CONTENT
  4. THE FOUR-WORD QUESTION YOU MUST ASK YOURSELF
  5. WHAT MAKES A COMPELLING STORY
  6. WORKING WITH WORDS
  7. IT’S OKAY IF YOUR DRAFT IS CRAP
  8. DEALING WITH THE BIGGEST FEAR
  9. FEW ARE BORN WRITERS (BUT YOU CAN BECOME ONE)

A RECAP: THE SIMPLE WAY TO GET STARTED

EXAMPLES OF CREATIVE NONFICTION (THREE MEMOIR VIGNETTES)

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PLEASE READ: This--below--is where intelligent comments are exchanged and threads of meaningful and thought-provoking discussion can take place. Some of my favorite stories I've written started with such exchanges and through them I've met some truly wonderful people. This comment section is a place where it's almost old-school in that responses--if one is needed--may not be immediate but will come. Kind of like postal mail correspondence, an easier pace that allows thoughtfulness and not knee-jerk fingers flying over keyboard replies, or something that comes out as top of mind, a stream of conscious superficiality. I hope to hear from and interact with you on anything I've written that sparks a thought or urge to comment.

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