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Writing and self-publishing your memoir can be a rewarding and therapeutic experience, allowing you to reflect on your life and share your story with others. However, it can also be daunting, as it requires you to delve deep into your past and confront difficult memories and emotions.

When writing a memoir, it’s necessary to consider what to include in your story and how the lens of your personal experience shapes the events. 

Four things to consider when writing your memoir

  1. Personal anecdotes and experiences: A memoir is a personal story, so it’s essential to include your own experiences and perspectives. This can consist of memorable events or moments, such as your first love or a life-changing trip, as well as your thoughts and feelings about these experiences.
  2. Historical and cultural context: Your story is not just about you – it’s also shaped by the world around you. It’s important to consider the historical and cultural context of your experiences, including the time and place in which they occurred. This can help to provide a broader understanding of your story and how it fits into the larger narrative of your life.
  3. Relationships: A memoir is also an opportunity to explore the relationships in your life and how they have shaped you. This can include relationships with family, friends, and significant others and the role these relationships have played in your life.
  4. Lessons learned: Finally, a memoir is an opportunity to reflect on the lessons you have learned throughout your life. This can include challenges you have faced and how you have overcome them, as well as any insights or wisdom you have gained along the way.

Structuring your memoir

When it comes to structuring your memoir, you have a choice in the approach you take to its structure. 

One common method is to organise your story chronologically, starting with your earliest memories and moving forward through your life. This is a straightforward way to tell your story and can provide a sense of progress and development.

Another approach is to structure your memoir thematically, focusing on specific topics or themes throughout your life. This can allow you to delve deeper into certain aspects of your story and can provide a more cohesive narrative.

Telling your story with honesty and vulnerability

Writing a memoir requires honesty and vulnerability, as you’ll share intimate details about your life and experiences. It can be intimidating to reveal personal information, but it’s critical to be authentic and genuine to your story. This can be incredibly challenging when writing about difficult experiences or emotions, but it’s important to be brave and confront these challenges head-on.

The key to writing a successful memoir is to be true to yourself and your experiences. By considering what elements or themes to include in your story, structuring your memoir in a way that makes sense, and telling your story with honesty and vulnerability, you can craft a compelling and meaningful memoir that will resonate with readers.

If you have written your memoir and are looking to self-publish it, we at ex libris can help you with editing, design, production and printing. We have decades of experience assisting authors in realising their goal of publishing their books, and we would enjoy working together on yours.