Write Your Memoir or Life Story Using My 12 Easy Tips

My brother Jack and his hot rod
Excerpted and updated from my book, A Guide to Writing Your Memoir or Life Story: Tools, Tips, Methods and Examples.

I posted my 12 tips at LinkedIn including photos of my older brother and his hot rod car, ca. 1950s; portraits of my wife's family pre-1900s and of my family in the mid-1940s; my female cousin in a bathing suit (it's okay, she is with her parents and brother who also are in bathing suits); and my Boy Scout troop in the early 1950s in front of a Ford and Studebaker of similar vintage.

Whether you want to write for personal healing, share childhood adventures or exciting travels, leave a family legacy, inspire, persuade, empower, or teach, my book shows you how in straightforward and lighthearted style.

Let me know what you think of the tips and old photos. Have fun!

Make the Opening to Your Memoir A Must-read - Part 2 of 2

Guest post by Linda K. Thomas. 

Originally posted January 17, 2019, on her blog, Spiritual Memoirs 101. Used by permission.

If you don't get this right, you'll lose readers.
Linda K. Thomas

After dismantling your scaffolding, it’s time to design a catchy opening for your memoir.

(You did remove your scaffolding, didn’t you? If not, you should! “Don’t think the reader will be patient with you until you can get around to the actual story,” writes Matilda Butler. If you need to brush up on what scaffolding is, click on Whether you’re building a castle or a memoir, the scaffolding must come down.)

Make the Opening to Your Memoir A Must-read - Part 1 of 2

Guest post by Linda K. Thomas. 
Originally posted January 10, 2019, on her blog, Spiritual Memoirs 101. Used by permission.
Linda K. Thomas
Your memoir’s opening is the most important part to write well.

You must craft every aspect well, but your beginning could make or break your entire book—so create curiosity, draw
readers in, and keep them reading.

A written piece’s opening will probably be the hardest to create, whether you’re composing a book, vignette, newspaper or magazine article, blog post, inspirational talk, or sermon.

Pink Orchid: A Mini-Memoir

By Ngoc Pease
From her new book, All My Tears, All My Blessings: A True Story of Courage, Hope, and Faith, as told to Wayne E. Groner. Available from Amazon store in paperback and Kindle. 
Ngoc Pease

I was fourteen years old when I found her. On a cold morning before dawn I made my rounds in front of rich people’s houses about an hour from my village. I untied their garbage bags, selected what I thought would help make a meal for my family, placed the pieces into my own small plastic bag and retied the bags so the homeowners and garbage collectors wouldn’t know.

Sometimes there were streetlights, sometimes only porch lights. I approached a house with

Why I Admire Rose O’Neill: A Mini-Memoir

By Susan Scott
Susan Scott in the
Rose O'Neill Museum

In the summer of 1994, my mother and I had a Girls Day Out in Branson. At an antiques store, I asked the owner if there was something special for us to do, something different. She asked whether we had been to Bonniebrook, home of the world-famous artist Rose O'Neill. I had never heard of her.

We followed the owner’s directions to about nine miles north of Branson and toured the Rose O'Neill Museum. That visit changed my life forever. At the time, my husband and I had a small cabin on Table Rock Lake. We retired in 1997 and moved to the lake area. I volunteered with the Bonniebrook Historical Society and

125 Years of Jews in Greene County, Missouri: A Mini-Memoir

By Mara W. Cohen Ioannides

Mara holds her book, Jews
 of Springfield in the Ozarks 
In 2018, Temple Israel celebrates 125 years in Greene County. The first Jews arrived in Springfield in the early 1860s and the community expanded after the announcement the railroad would arrive in Springfield in 1870. The first congregation was organized in 1893.

I joined Temple Israel in Rogersville in 1996, the year the congregation moved there from its longtime location in Springfield. I came from New Jersey in 1993 to take a position in the English Department at Missouri State University.

Growing Up in Mentor: A Mini-Memoir

By Brenda Burger Mings

Brenda Burger Mings
I was born and raised in Mentor, Missouri, an unincorporated town about seven miles east of Springfield. My maternal grandfather, William A. Bryant, and a son-in-law of his, each owned half-interest in the Bryant & Bradley General Store in Mentor. Grandfather also was a blacksmith at the store. The two of them drove a horse-drawn wagon to Springfield for supplies. The store had a post office until 1906.

I never knew my grandfather. He died in 1922 at the age of seventy-seven. He came from Illinois and