a workbook for writing your life story

Writing About People and Places Can Help You Start Your Memoir

Writing About People and Places Can Help You Start Your Memoir

What are the people and places that have had the greatest impact on your life? Writing about those people and places can help you to work through what’s most important to you. Here’s some things to keep in mind when you’re writing about a subject.

Focus on the subject at hand

This is easy to understand, but can be challenging to accomplish. When you’re writing about one person or place, make it your focus. If the subject requires you to give backstory about another person or place, don’t write it yet. Instead, put all your focus on one story at a time. Write all the way through one subject before you switch to another one.

Ask yourself why

Why are you writing about this particular subject? What have you learned from your interactions with or in the subject? Is there something you want the people reading your memoir to take away from your writing about this subject?

Pick the ones that matter

You don’t need to write about every person and experience in your life. If you don’t think a subject adds to your memoir, don’t feel pressured to include it. This is your life story, and you’re allowed to write about whatever you want to. Not all subjects are created equal, and those that aren’t as important to you don’t need to be included just because they were a part of your life.

With subject-driven stories, you can start wherever you want. If you find one story should be written before another, start there. Think about all of the subjects you could write about, narrow to the ones you want to write about, and then determine what subjects are dependent on other stories. After that, just get started writing!