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How to Write Your Memoir in 30 Days provides the framework for writers enthusiastic about telling their story, but wondering how to begin. Step-by-step techniques, culled from writers’ workshops taught by the author, are presented in a welcoming, non-intimidating style. The prospect of writing a book is not daunting when compartmentalized into thirty discrete assignments: Days 1 – 5 include exercises to identify major themes. Days 6 – 10 include exercises about plot. Days 11 – 15 include exercises about personalities. Days 16 – 20 include exercises about experiences. Days 21 – 25 include exercises that analyze responses to events. Days 26 – 30 include exercises that structure the story of the memoir. The book also includes information about publishers and literary agents, as well as information and resources about self-publishing. It also includes quick “clear communication” lessons about spelling and grammar. Perfect for today’s society, where we are all accustomed to celebrating each of life’s passages with a blog post and comfortable sharing our innermost feelings, How to Write a Memoir in 30 Days is a fun, easy guide to writing the next great memoir.
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About the Author
Roberta Temes, PhD, teaches memoir-writing classes in New York, New Jersey, and Florida, as well as online at www.memoirclassonline.com. Additionally, Dr. Roberta is an experienced psychotherapist who knows how to help people access their emotional memories and make sense out of their past. She is skilled at processing powerful feelings and knows how to transfer those feelings from the mind to the page. She is the author of many nonfiction books, including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Hypnosis, The Tapping Cure, and the prize-winning Living With an Empty Chair.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
How to Write a Memoir in 30 Days: Step-by-Step Instructions for Creating and Publishing Your Personal Story based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
A couple of years ago my uncle died. He was an intelligent articulate man that had published many articles in his field. While going through his belongings, my cousin found a treasure. It was his memories beginning in childhood, through part of his later years. She graciously sent me a copy. Reading it was wonderful! Not only did I find so much about his life I never knew, I got a glimpse of my father’s family and part of his life. Writing my own memoir to leave for my children and grandchildren has always been in my mind. His motivated me further but where and how do I start? That’s why I was so happy to get this book. It not only gives me a starting point but also direction. I know it won’t be written in 30 days as the title suggests, but in 30 days the book will help me produce a rough “skeleton” of my life story. I liked it that the author says “just write”, get it down on paper, and worry about punctuation, spelling, and grammar later. That is such a hindrance to many who write, thinking it has to be “perfect” the first time. The beginning of the book also opens the door to the idea that there can be many different types of memoirs you might want to write. Each day focuses on a different aspect of your life to think about. For me, I have many memories and thoughts but they are jumbled together in my mind and come forward when triggered by some outside source. The author had lots of thought provoking ideas to delve deeper into those recollections therefore giving more meaning and detail to my writing. There were also samples of other people’s memoir writings to illustrate what the author was suggesting and avoiding mistakes. In addition, I found them as a springboard to further organize my thoughts. This book helps you do more than tell your stories; it helps you share your emotions, feelings, and experiences at a deeper level. I am a writer. I love to write, but I think this book would be a great help to someone that writing does not come easily. I want to leave a written legacy as my uncle did for our family. I found this book very helpful and inspiring! I received this book free from FBS Associates which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
For many readers who want to be writers, this “how to” book may seem either a God-send or another “come-on” or trick. But in reality it is quite the former. No, it’s not about just making a laundry list of memorable events in one’s life or the places to where one’s traveled. No, it’s not about the famous people met. It’s about encapsulating the thoughts and feelings about any summary of one’s life or singular people and events that led to more questions, analysis, feelings and perhaps even a moment compelling a change of direction or return to a former direction, or whatever emerges from the memory! It’s about the poignant, powerful, funny, sad and whatever moments to which we can all relate, and therefore it’s worthy of insertion in a memoir that will then appeal to all human readers. The chapters are so devised that the suggestions belie any triviality or contriving a story that one hopes will totally engage readers. It mandates honestly directly stated or written with subtlety more suitable to those prefer nuances. Some examples – Imagine a moment when you were just “waiting” for something; describe it; describe an incident that changed the course of your life…because it was “beautiful, frightening, unusual, spiritual; describe (one by one) the conflicts in your life and how you reached within yourself to cope with them (can include strengths and failures); respond to trigger phrases such as how naive I was and then woke up to realize that…; describe a scene where something occurred that changed your thinking; write about moments when you observed something unique or common and describe how it affected you; etc. etc. Sample responses are provided that keep one from moving into empty clichés or status quo responses; these are quite inspiring because they reveal some vulnerable or potent experiences, working because they are really more about uniquely internal reflections instead of standard experiences we all have. We may all have the same thoughts and feelings, yet the differences in experiencing them and expressing them is so powerful when someone else writes about them in this way. An example: “…It is not an exaggeration to say I expected gold in the streets. It was heartbreaking to arrive in the United States and live in a run-down apartment…” The writer sets his or her hopes on studying to make the American dream come true and sacrifices immensely to attain that dream – it’s not summarized like this sentence but we get a brief but determined paragraph on what led to the desire to study to succeed. The author provides some comments after the samples, many of which include the correct use of words and grammar which enhances conveying one’s entire message, rather than distracting from it. Turning flat sentences into dynamic communication by adding “action” to one’s scenes is a wonderful chapter that adds reliability to one’s memoir which in turn guarantees generating constant interest in a reader. Guidance is also offered on how to describe the people in one’s life in an interesting manner and some brief notes are added on pre-publication tips. All in all, How To Write a Memoir in 30 Days…” is a valuable writing tool for those who wish to start their first book or even those who have already written and are now ready for the memoir phase of their writing craft. Very well done and highly recommended! You’ll want to begin trying one or many of these suggestions immediately!
Good ideas Did I enjoy this book: Yes. The title pretty much sums up the contents of this book. The author presumes you have no idea what to write and offers daily exercises and samples to inspire the inner memoir-writing-maniac that’s undoubtedly alive in all of us. A typical chapter gives you an assignment. Day 7, for example, asks you to identify one event from your past that changed you and influenced your life’s mission. (Your life’s mission was covered on day 6). Following the assignment, there are between four and six pages of samples. The day’s reading concludes with a “Clear Communication” tip. Day seven’s tip is about the difference between its and it’s. After the final day’s lesson, you’ll find an appendix that offers suggestions on publishing your memoir. My favorite tip in this section includes, “figuring out how to get orders from bookstores and individual readers.” Thanks. That was helpful. I believe she has some good ideas and insight for writing a memoir. If you have some extraordinary life story you wish to share, this book is a good start. The reason I couldn’t give it 5 stars is because I’m struggling to believe anyone can create a marketable (or even readable) memoir in thirty days. Not even if you stayed awake and worked 24 hours every one of those thirty days. To suggest to a novice that he or she can is just mean. Would I recommend it: If you have some sensational life story, you’re dying to tell; absolutely. As reviewed by Belinda at Every Free Chance Book Reviews. (I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)