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Writing Memoir Update

September 5, 2018

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Writing Update

Regular readers will know that I have been completing the exercises in Patti Miller’s book Writing True Stories, and posting them here. The original plan was to post two exercises each week, as I completed them. This was very easy at the beginning, when the exercises were more simple.

The exercises have now become a little more complex and require more thought however, I ave still been completing them as planned. But due to the subject matter of the last few exercises, I have decided that it’s not appropriate to post them at this time. My life is an open book, and I really don’t mind sharing all, but I’m conscious that family members and friends may not feel the same.

I want these exercises to truly reflect my life, so some writing will be confronting for me, and perhaps at times, for others. So for now, I will keep the completed exercises back that I feel may cause concern or worry to anyone close to me. In the future, I will revisit them, and either post them here or save them for my ‘actual’ memoir.

Links to completed exercises

Writing Memoir

Writing Memoir -Childhood Story

Writing Memoir – First Fact

Writing Memoir – Parent

Writing Memoir – Symbol

Writing Memoir – Ramble

Memoir Writing – Take An Object

Writing Memoir – Records

Writing Memoir – Ordinary Life

Writing Memoir – Uncommon Experience

Writing Memoir – Appeal To The Senses

Writing Memoir – Process

Editing process

As I glance back at the above writings, my first thought is how raw they are. Immediately, I find myself wanting to edit and improve them. The instructions given in the book are to write as the thoughts come, and not to edit. As I understand it, the editing will come in later exercises.

Have you ever thought of writing your memoir? I’d love to hear your thoughts and will reply to all comments.

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19 Comments
  1. My blog is mostly memoir. Except for my late husband’s family, I have no living family of my own, but am aware his family reads my post, so I understand wanting to hold back because of family. The rawness of a memoir is one of the key reasons people are drawn to reading memoir. It’s what makes it real; what makes it resonate with the reader. If it’s too edited and cleaned up, we might as well be writing for Martha Stewart.

  2. Good on you Jennifer, you’re doing a great job. Keep going, I’ve shared your post for #mlstl

  3. I don’t think my life story is worth doing a memoir on Jennifer – and I don’t think it would be read by enough people to make up for the effort required in writing it! But you should definitely go for it if you’re enjoying and benefitting from the process. #MLSTL 🙂

    • My life has been ordinary Leanne with nothing very interesting happening. My aim with the memoir is to leave my story of every day life for any descendants who are interested in the future.

  4. Writing memoirs is a minefield – I think you’re brave to do so. Some members of my family (my mother, brother and sister) are very private and think that even the blog is too much. My mother has even asked me to take down something she didn’t think needed to be on the internet. (I’m no teenager at 59 but she did this anyway). I’m curious to read what you’ve written and would like to explore the book Writing True Stories at a later date.

  5. That is a point i have reached in “telling my story” as I have arrived at the point where to continue will mean involving others who have not given me permission to share. So, I am going to see how I progress without using identifiers or photos. It is a great thinking point. Thank you. Denyse #MLSTL

  6. Molly Totoro permalink

    I tried to find this book at my local library but to no avail. I’m going to PIN to my #mlstl board for future reference. I like the idea of leaving my story for future generations.

  7. Arlee Bird permalink

    I have been intending to write one or more memoirs, but I haven’t gotten far with the writing. I can understand being careful about saying things that others might not want revealed. In some cases I would likely not use full names or I would ask permission.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  8. I have included your blog in INTERESTING BLOGS in FRIDAY FOSSICKING at

    https://thatmomentintime-crissouli.blogspot.com/2018/09/friday-fossicking-14th-sept-2018.html
    Thank you, Chris
    I wanted to share with others the process you have been following…maybe it will inspire those who have considered writing their story, but weren’t sure how to go about it.
    My advice has always been “write from the heart… whether you publish or not is up to you, but everyone’s story has something to offer…”

    • Thanks so much Chris. I agree with what you say about Memoir. Had to be written from the heart and if that happens it doesn’t need a big, exciting story to make it interesting. Many think, as I did, that their lives aren’t interesting enough. Thanks again for your support Chris

      • You’re welcome, Jennifer.. my pleasure to support fellow bloggers, especially when they write so well.

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