Thank goodness today is Friday! I’ve been holding onto this news all week…
The W.I.N. at Writing blog has been syndicated!!! I was approached last week by the Books Editor of Before It’s News, a web-based news portal that gets 10s of 1000s of visitors daily. The Books Editor asked if I would be willing to allow them to syndicate my blog and pull my feed for the Books section of their site. Well you know I said “heck yeah!” It is truly a honor and a blessing to know that my articles are found to be news worthy by my readers and that Before It’s News feels like the information found here can be beneficial to many more people. Thank you to Sebastian Clouth, Books Editor, and Before It’s News for finding the value in my blog.
Now that W.I.N. at Writing has been syndicated, I would love to start having a guest blogger once a month to write an article either on the topic of self publishing or memoir writing. However, if you’d like to submit an article on another topic related to the writing industry, I would be open to hear your suggestions as well. I am currently developing this part of my blogging life; but, if you are interested in being one of my guest bloggers in the future, please post a comment below and we will connect and get you scheduled.
On another note, the Inspired & Independent Book Club officially kicked off today! It’s not too late to join us in this month’s book reading — Chasing Superwoman: A Working Mom’s Adventure in Life and Faith by Sarah DiMickele. The Book Club has divided the book into 4 easy-to-read sections and one section is read each week. We then post our thoughts on that week’s section, with no spoilers if you read ahead, and at the end of the month we give a summary of our reading experience with the book in its entirety. Hop on over and join us. Christine and I have already posted our thoughts on the first week’s reading section.
Lastly, today is Day 1 of CampNaNoWriMo. I am doing CampNaNo this year, at least the June camp…haven’t decided if I’ll do the August camp as well. That’s 50,000 words written in a 30 day period. I am in a cabin with 5 others and we will be supporting and cheering each other on throughout the next 30 days of intensive writing. I hope to be able to finish my first draft by the end of camp, which I’m sure will be more than 50k words. That’s my goal so that I can then start the editing process and get this book published by the end of the year. If anyone is willing to read the finished first draft manuscript sometime in July of this year to give me your input, please let me know.
Whew! Lot’s of news for Friday Frivolities… More is better, so I ain’t complaining LOL!!! Have a GREAT weekend and I will “see” you all on Monday!
Writing a memoir is a daunting task. A writer often struggles with what to include and what to leave out. It can be very overwhelming because no one wants to leave out any of the “good parts.” But how does one determine what the “good parts” are?
Memoir writers are often tempted to put in too much information. Characters and details that really are not important to the story you are trying to convey. These characters and details may have been part of the actual events, but do they make sense to the story from the viewpoint you are writing the memoir? If not, leave them out…even if it’s one of your siblings. You are not altering history here, you are simply writing the important memories you want to convey without the fluff stuff that isn’t necessary to the story you are telling.
I recently read an article on the American Scholar website on How To Write a Memoir. The author relates detailed information that can assist in memoir writing, some of which include:
“But in my memoir I don’t write anything about the war itself. I just tell one story about one trip I took across North Africa after our troopship landed at Casablanca.“, and
“Remember: Your biggest stories often have less to do with their subject than with their significance — not what you did in a certain situation, but how that situation affected you and shaped the person you became.“, and
“Tackle your life in easily manageable chunks.“
I think that these tidbits are good information for memoir writers to keep in mind. There is a wealth of other useful tidbits in the complete article, which can be found here. Don’t overdo it. Write just what is necessary to the story at hand. Your life spans many decades and trying to get a history of all those decades recorded in one volume is not only a difficult task, it may be unnecessary. Unless you are writing your autobiography, every detail is not necessary to tell a story about a portion of your life in a memoir. There’s no reason to relay all or most details of your life from birth up until the time of the story at hand. Leave those details for a different memoir. Focus on the subject matter of the memoir at hand — your memories of trips to your grandparents house, your memories of growing up in the church, your memories of baking cookies with your mom and selling them for a nickel at your lemonade stand…
In writing a memoir you must keep the story you are telling in focus. Do not lose your readers by giving too much information. Only what is pertinent to the story need be included. I suggest you take the time to read the full article. It is time well spent. I will be implementing the author’s suggestion to write a story about your life each morning and file it away until you have enough material to review and look for recurring patterns and themes. This helps the writer to really find out what their memoir is about, which is not usually what you think.
Time to share…
What do you struggle with in memoir writing? Has this article or the article on the American Scholar website helped you to refocus your memoir writing? In what ways?
Everyone has the ability to write. Many many folks aspire to become published authors. With the advent of the self-publishing revolution and the lessening of the stigma that was associated with self-publishing, many more folks have jumped into the writing arena. Some good and some not so good… And yes, there is still a stigma attached to self-publishing, but that’s not today’s topic.
I believe that writing should be done for more purposes then to tell a good story. Nothing at all wrong with storytelling…but what message are you trying to convey with your story? Every story – fiction or nonfiction — can and should be written to inspire and nurture. Think of Harry Potter. Weren’t those stories inspirational? Didn’t they convey a positive message of teamwork and friendship to accomplish the impossible? Didn’t they inspire you to cheer on the main character?
That is what writing is about for me. Empowering the reader in whatever ways possible. Uplifting them and exciting them. Nurturing the dreams, aspirations, and ideals the reader holds inside of him- or herself. Spurring them to act if action is necessary. Encouraging them to dream and to get busy obtaining those dreams. That is why I write.
One simple word with very strong and positive meanings. I write to inspire and nurture. I WIN at Writing, and when an author W.I.N.s, we all win.