Today I welcome the lovely Mikki Noble onto my blog, who is sharing her experience of writing memoirs.
So if you have ever fancied the idea of writing your own memoirs, check this out. Enjoy 🙂
Sending a great big thank you to Ari for allowing me to share my experiences with you.
I started my memoir after my father died on my birthday. I wanted to tell my story so bad the words were practically bursting from my ears. But I had no clue where to start or had even read a memoir before.
So, what did I do? Yep, I went out and bought a couple memoirs that looked interesting (seriously, you can find them anywhere) and I read a how-to book on memoirs. That’s how my memoir began.
Dig Down Deep
Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone! Some stories are good, some are bad, most are in between. I chose to write about a lot of the tough times in my life, like when lung cancer took my father and I held his hand while they slowly turned off his breathing machine.
Let me tell you that was one of the most disturbing, horrific times in my life. And it was so, so hard to write down the details of it. Almost as hard as standing in the hospital room, not as hard as not writing it would have been.
But that’s what you have to do. People want to know the truth, the real you. They want those details that show your human side.
They like the raw, juicy bits that make them feel. That’s what we all want when we read, isn’t it? To feel for the person, to watch them succeed or fail, to see how they react?
So, don’t be afraid to dig up those dusty old bones in the back of that closet you haven’t gone near in ages. It will make your story better. I promise.
One of the first things everyone says is, to be honest. It’s a memoir, don’t make things up. That being said, everyone will also tell you, it’s impossible to get everything exactly right—unless you’ve been carrying a tape recorder around with you your whole life.
When it comes to things like the small details or dialogue, it’s okay to write about the feeling you had when they spoke. It’s okay to make up some dialogue that explains the point you are trying to convey—as long as it’s not an outright lie.
You definitely can’t lie in your memoir. It’s not right and you could be called out on it later. So, tell the truth and nothing but the truth.
Don’t Let Feelings Get in the Way
While writing, I desperately wanted to run away when things got too emotional. There were so many times I wanted to throw in the towel and say to hell with it. And then I remembered why I started the memoir in the first place—that was my motivation.
Yours may be different than mine and that’s fine, but whatever gets you through those tough experiences is what you do. Hang out with friends, watch a movie, have a glass of wine. I like to color; it’s calming. It’s my favorite way to unwind.
Find a Great Hook
You can write a memoir about pretty much any part of your life, but you need a hook. Something to grab your readers. A memoir is about a chunk of your life, not the whole thing (then it becomes an autobiography), so, choose what you want to write about and do it.
For example: I wanted to write about my father and our relationship (or lack thereof) but I didn’t have enough material for a full book, so that turned into the relationships I have with my father figures, then my mom entered the picture and somehow it turned into a memoir about how my messed-up childhood has affected my adulthood and the relationships I’ve formed.
I said it before: everyone has a story to tell. People don’t know they want to read your story until you give them a reason to pick it up from a large array of memoirs on the shelf.
Don’t Worry About Who Will Read It
I can’t stress this enough! Worrying and agonizing over who is going to pick up your book will drive you to the nuthouse. It doesn’t matter (at least until you get to the publishing stage; they might want to know) but when you’re writing your words down, just get that story written.
I’m the type who agonizes over every detail of my life and you know what? That habit always gets me into trouble, always.
I bet I have twenty books lost in a file in the far reaches of my computer because I did just that: worried and agonized over what direction it would go, who would read it, blah, blah, blah.
Don’t do this, please. Write your story down. You can always edit. You can’t edit a blank page, as they say.
It’s Your Story. Tell It Your Way
There’s only one you. And although people may have been through some of the same things you’ve been through, they don’t know how you feel when you go through trials, they don’t know exactly how you’re going to react to bad news, they don’t know the tiny, important, intricate details of your thought process and how you’ve reached the point in your life you’re at right now. They can’t—unless you tell them.
That makes you pretty unique, don’t you think?
You are the only one who can tell your story, so hold your head high, dig deep (way deep) down and pull out that you that no one can ever really know and show the world what you’ve got. Good luck and happy writing!
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As far back as she can remember, Mikki was creating characters and stories in her mind.
It wasn’t until fate brushed the tip of its wings over her eyes that she began to see that writing was what she was born to do.
She loves reading, animals, everything supernatural related, and hanging out on social media.
Everyone thinks Marley tried to take her own life, except Marley. After her mother sends her to a youth center for troubled teens, she starts hearing the voice of a boy who claims he was murdered and begins questioning her own sanity.
The voice is Gavin, a seventeen-year-old boy who promises Marley he can help her find the truth about what happened the day she supposedly tried to kill herself—if she completes a resurrection spell in the next four days.
Marley soon discovers she’s not hallucinating, and that she has a chance to save Gavin’s soul. The task seems simple: complete the spell, then she and Gavin are free, right?
But a powerful, unseen force is determined to stop her, and soon Marley finds herself following clues from the universe to find ingredients for the ritual to save herself and her newfound friend.
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Big thanks to Mikki for being today’s guest poster and sharing her tips on writing your memoirs. Do please check out her links and if you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below.