Did you know that the concept of the memoir dates back to 3000BC Egypt? Back then the purpose of a memoir was to either brag about your life, or defend it. The ancient Egyptians would guard against damnation in the afterlife by listing a resume of their accomplishments. The next chapter of this trend several thousand years later had them flipping the formula and listing all the bad things they hadn’t done in life. The memoir, it would seem, was the world’s first Survivor finale.

Now, in the new age of authenticity and accountability, memoir authors share and bare their souls bravely and vulnerably for the purpose of helping others. 

How naked are you willing to get, when it comes to telling your life story, especially if there’s a chance it can help others?

Once you can honestly answer that question, you can move on to mapping the structure of your memoir. Where is the intersection of the personal stories and the lessons those stories yielded? How will each chapter open, close, and flow into the next one?  How will you hold your readers’ attention while guiding them on this meticulously crafted journey of words and mental images? Writing is the science of structure combined with the art of painting stories and pictures in the minds of your readers.

The pictures will linger as your lasting legacy, often long after the reader closes your book and puts it back on the shelf. You might not be bragging about or defending your life. You might merely be sharing a significant lesson or offering an inside glimpse into your accomplishments. But no matter what your reason for writing your memoir – be honest. Be brave. Be the reason that the person reading it feels brave. Be the catalyst for their change. Be bigger than your story. Be big enough to inspire theirs.

Until next time…


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