How a History Book Can Benefit Your Cultural Organization

Cultural organizations are an integral part of public life, allowing groups large and small to foster community bonds and celebrate their shared history, interests, and traditions.

While most cultural organizations have established ways of keeping these traditions alive, there is one activity that your organization may not have considered: writing a book about your history.

There are several critical reasons to create a written history of your organization, from preserving institutional memory to crafting a compelling narrative that can be used for fundraising, new member recruitment, and promotion of your mission and goals.

Not a writer? Not a problem. Hiring a ghostwriter is a simple way to transform the rich and varied stories that make up your organization’s history into an organized and absorbing story in print.

Is my group considered a cultural organization?

Cultural organizations are those dedicated to the preservation and promotion of shared identity or interests, be it a cultural or ethnic identity, a language, a religion, an art form, or even a sport or style of cuisine.

These organizations may take the form of large international groups, such as the Alliance Française, which comprises hundreds of chapters dedicated to preserving the French language and culture.

They can also be small, hyperlocal organizations, such as the Whiteclay Immersion School, a school on Montana’s Fort Belknap Indian Reservation working to preserve the A’ani language.

They may be ethnic or folk museums, like the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, or hobby groups, like the Denver HO Model Railroad Club.

A shared identity may even be one of location, as with the Brooklyn Heights Association, the oldest ongoing neighborhood association in New York City.

Whatever its focus, every cultural organization has a distinct history of its own that may extend back decades or even centuries. Here are a few reasons why that history is worth recording in a book about your organization.

Preserving Institutional Memory

Writing a history of your organization is an effective way to preserve institutional memory.

The Dictionary of Archives Terminology defines institutional memory as a collective of “personal recollections and experiences that provides an understanding of the history and culture of an organization.”

It is everything from the story of your founding to the buildings you’ve occupied over the years to the quirks and personalities of your members.

Institutional memory relies on transmission—it must be passed down in a direct line, otherwise the facts may become distorted, like a game of telephone, or forgotten entirely.

Think of your own organization.

Perhaps the best-known story is that of its creation—the names of the founders, the reasons why they saw a need for its existence, the vision they had for its purpose and direction. But over time, founders retire, move, or pass away, as do the individuals who take their place.

If the heart of an organization is its people, writing a history book ensures that the vision, contributions, and legacy of its members will be remembered long after they’re gone.

Writing an organization’s history is also a way to create a cohesive narrative out of archived records like newsletters, meeting minutes, photographs, member rosters, and financial reports.

Maintaining an archive of these items is itself a critical aspect of preserving institutional memory, but a written history is an excellent complement, providing color, depth, and context to the disparate items your organization may have retained over the years.

Continuity of Mission, Goals, and Identity

A written history can also provide a clear picture of what an organization has accomplished over time. It can keep your mission and goals consistent, document programs and initiatives launched over the years, and record what worked and what didn’t.

This history also ensures the shared values and identity of your organization are communicated consistently to new members.

Take, for example, an organization dedicated to preserving a language.

For five years, language classes have been held on Saturday mornings, but a new teacher wants to move his class to Wednesday evenings.

Is there a reason not to?

After all, the decision to hold Saturday classes may have been made simply because it fit the original teacher’s schedule. But what if there is a more significant reason, like an informal needs assessment conducted the first year of the program that showed most individuals in the community have trouble accessing transportation on weekdays?

Oftentimes, we rely on institutional memory, i.e., the knowledge of longtime members, to answer such questions. But that knowledge is not always accessible.

In a February 2018 article in theTufts Observer, Jordan Lauf described the difficulty of maintaining momentum and consistent focus in a Tufts University activist group that, because of its very nature as a student-led organization, sheds its most senior members every semester.

While turnover is rarely so extreme, many organizations go through turbulent times at some point in their history. Hiring a ghostwriter to compile your organization’s history provides a definitive record of your past, helping you avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

Fundraising and Outreach

Many cultural organizations are registered 501(c)(3) nonprofits that rely on private donors and grant funding to sustain their work.

If you’ve ever written a grant proposal, you know it’s a tedious process that most of us would rather avoid.

Writing your organization’s history can help alleviate that stress, providing you with a comprehensive, streamlined document that incorporates many common elements of a grant proposal: your mission and goals, descriptions of your programs and services, the need for those programs, and measurable impacts on the community you serve.

With these narratives ready to go, grant writing just got a lot easier.

Even if your organization does not require grant funding, you probably still rely on outreach.

It could be to attract new members who will pay dues, sell tickets to festivals and performances, promote your classes to new students, or find local sponsors for events.

In these cases, a written history provides professional, ready-to-use content for promotional materials like flyers, websites, social media posts, event programs, annual giving letters, and much more.

Examples of Histories of Organizations

Here are a few examples of groups that have seized the opportunity to hire a ghostwriter and craft a compelling history of their organization.

Writing Nonfiction: The Ins and Outs of an Engaging Nonfiction Book

Mark Twain once said, “Write what you know.” Indeed, his words resonate with the power of universal truth. Writing compelling nonfiction books is about infusing passion into a topic that would surely seem mundane in the hands of a lesser writer.

Unfortunately, for many writers, finding either a topic or a passion is difficult enough, never mind pairing them together.

While it could be said that writing nonfiction is just about presenting facts, the truth is that compelling nonfiction writing is an entirely different endeavor.

It is entirely possible to mesh the engagement of fiction writing with the factual information of nonfiction. As such, any successful nonfiction writer must consider the following ins and outs as they produce a great piece of nonfiction.

Find a Vision

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The most common mistake that novice writers make is casting too wide of a net. This common phrase implies attempting to tackle a topic too wide for the work. Doing so, in turn, causes writers to lose control of the scope of their project. Without a clear vision, it is virtually impossible to narrow down a topic to a manageable size.

Seasoned writers sketch out their entire thought process. Then, they look back on what they plan to cover. More often than not, they realize their scope is too broad. At that point, they may see the need to trim content. Also, they may choose to split their topic up into two or more volumes.

Writing coach and featured columnist Nina Amir has this to say about focus: “It’s time to strategize for the next ten years.” Indeed, all successful nonfiction writers have a line of thought that will take them well beyond the book they are currently working on. Nina goes on to say:

“You may have heard me – or someone else – suggest having a word for the year. This word describes the essence of who you want to show up, what you want to experience, or what you want to achieve during that year.”

Having an overarching vision can make each piece of nonfiction writing fall within a consistent narrative. This narrative allows readers to go on a journey along with the writer and not just collect facts and information.

Develop a Voice

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The first question that writers must ask themselves is “why?” In other words, writers must be clear on their purpose for writing a book. After all, if a writer does not know their intent, they will never hone their message. Moreover, without a clear message, it is practically impossible to find a voice.

Understanding the message leads to creating a narrative that can convey it. Without a message, there is no voice. Ultimately, voiceless nonfiction books may result in a collection of facts and figures that do not paint a picture. In the worst of cases, the book may be a series of disjointed facts that do not lead the reader anywhere.

In this regard, writing expert Sarah Chauncey offers the following insight:

“Fiction writers can create a voice, or play with different voices, but as a nonfiction writer, your writing should sound like you. Your vocabulary, your cadence, your syntax, your dialect. Your verbal idiosyncrasies.”         

This line of thought makes it clear that a nonfiction writer must find their own voice. It is that voice that conveys the message to the reader in a captivating way. Thus, the reader can glean the writer’s persona. This connection is what drives compelling nonfiction writing.

Give the Readers What They Want

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Giving readers what they want is a journey into introspection. Unless the writer can read their readers’ minds, the most effective way to glean what readers want is by switching places. All great writers can write from a third-party perspective. In other words, great writers can anticipate what their audience wants to hear. They write in a way that resonates with their intended audience.

It might seem somewhat counterintuitive to think that a writer can produce content while thinking like a reader. Nevertheless, sensing the way readers perceive content is crucial to successful nonfiction writing. As such, writing an excellent nonfiction book is about defining your target audience. In the words of Nina Amir, “If you’ve started writing your first nonfiction book without defining your target audience – stop!”

Undoubtedly, defining a book’s target audience is a pillar of any successful publication. Consequently, writers should strive to create a person for whom they write. This person would be their “ideal” fan.

To build this persona, elements such as demographics, socioeconomic level, education, and income all come into play. For instance, if a cookbook is aimed at busy people, using complex and lengthy instructions would not make sense. In the end, it is about adding value by solving a reader’s problem or satisfying their curiosity.

Do Your Homework

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As Mark Twain said, “Write what you know.” However, it is impossible to know everything about everything. That is where research comes into play.

Nonfiction writers must also be capable researchers. All too often, writers attempt to position themselves as experts by making various claims. However, credibility is a huge issue to face. As such, research enables successful writers to back up what they are saying.

To bring this point into context, Molly Blaisdell at the Author Learning Center states the following:

“The first and most important part of writing nonfiction is the research. Reliable source materials are of utmost importance. Always choose original sources first; expert interviews are much more reliable than secondary sources such as journals, databases, and books.”

The primary purpose of conducting research is to improve the author’s credibility. Naturally, there is room for making claims. That’s a logical part of the nonfiction writing process. Nevertheless, claims are only claims unless expert opinions and quantitative data back them up. Often, official statistics are the best way to support a claim.

There is one caveat when it comes to research: confirmation bias.

“Confirmation bias” is a phenomenon in which researchers look for information that can back up a conclusion instead of basing a conclusion on the information available. The issue with confirmation bias is that the conclusion itself may contain flaws.

Hence, even though the information supports the conclusion, the conclusion itself is not an accurate assessment of reality.

Build a Consistent Narrative

The narrative is the story that a writer tells. This narrative is the result of a writer embracing their personal voice. This voice then meshes with a message to the reader. As a result, the reader can then see the writer’s voice paint a picture throughout a book or book series. In the end, a narrative makes a clear and coherent argument that transcends a single point.

While creating a narrative is much easier in fiction writing, nonfiction writers must build their personal narratives as well. For example, a consistent narrative could be the result of embracing a particular ideology or philosophy. As the writer develops their narrative, the reader ought to see the author’s point of view unfold in front of them. Otherwise, authors risk dumping a collection of data without any flow to it. The result may be a stale description of factual information.

Todd Pierce, a regular contributor at The Writer, underscores the importance of a solid narrative in nonfiction writing by stating that “…rich details to create scenes, narrative materials to build engaging set pieces, and perspectives to construct accurate points of view” are all crucial to effective nonfiction writing.

The key to building a compelling nonfiction narrative is providing as much detail as possible. Therefore, creating a mental image in the reader’s mind is critical to conveying the right message. To achieve this, the author must provide as many accounts, facts, and information directly from those in the know. This data provides the richness that nonfiction topics deserve. The depth of details enables readers to go from a data dump into a world of knowledge they have been eager to enter.

Set Manageable Targets

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Authors are more like marathon runners than sprinters. As such, successful nonfiction writers are keenly aware that writing great content is not about getting through it as fast as possible. Great content takes time to develop.

While it is true that some writers can work at a faster tempo than others, the fact is that writing excellent nonfiction content requires a dedicated approach.

Setting manageable writing targets means that authors ought to aim to write what they can reasonably manage per day. In other words, this means creating a schedule that they can realistically follow. Often, that schedule might imply writing 500 to 1,000 words a day. In contrast, it would be unreasonable to think about writing 10,000 words a day of productive content.

Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway remarked in a 1954 interview, “When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you, and it is cool or cold, and you come to your work and warm as you write.” Hemingway’s comments allude to something paramount in successful writing: routine.

Successful writers understand the value of routine. Routine enables writers to get into “the zone.” This comfort zone enables creativity to flow. When creativity meshes with factual information and data, outstanding nonfiction emerges.

John Steinbeck, Nobel Prize winner and renowned for The Grapes of Wrath, offered this advice in 1962: “Lose track of therefore 400 pages and write just one page a day.” This advice is exactly the same as what marathoners say about completing a grueling race: “one mile at a time.”

All too often, novice writers start with gusto but eventually run out of gas. Thus, setting a reasonable pace is one of the essential elements to producing compelling nonfiction. In the end, writing is not a race. It is about creating quality content consistently.

Outline a Roadmap

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Writing without having a proper outline is like going on a trip without a map. Of course, seasoned writers can hit the keyboard and produce great work. However, the operative word here is “seasoned.” Experienced writers know the value of outlining their ideas. While outlining gets easier and faster with time and experience, the fact is that successful writing is about planning everything in advance.

Failing to do so is a cardinal sin of inexperienced writers. They go about putting their ideas into text without having a clear picture of where they want to go. Eventually, they get stuck as they do not fathom where to take their book next.

Without a clear roadmap, a book may become a collection of random thoughts and ideas that do not lead anywhere. This lack of cohesion is why some writers claim their book is “unfinished.” No matter how much they work on it, they cannot seem to get to the end.

The Rutgers University Learning Center offers this pearl of wisdom:

“Outlining will help construct and organize ideas in a sequential manner and thoughtful flow. Doing so allows you to pick relevant information or quotes from sources early on, giving writers a steady foundation and groundwork when beginning the writing process. Most importantly, developing these ideas will help create your thesis.”

Outlining is the process that enables authors to find their voice, hone their vision, and refine their message. Authors that attempt writing without a clear outline quickly find that staying on track can be virtually impossible. Consequently, coming up with congruent outlines makes the difference between quality work and run-of-the-mill content.

Take It One Step at a Time

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For inexperienced writers, it can be easy to get ahead of themselves, which is often the result of trying to capture every idea that comes to mind. When this occurs, ideas can easily get muddled as the text emerges. Thus, it is crucial to take things one step at a time.

Consequently, thinking about a nonfiction book in terms of individual chapters breaks the work down into manageable chunks. Hence, outlining plays a vital role in ensuring the text flows naturally.

Each chapter should work as an individual piece. Regardless of the topic, each chapter should provide an introduction, an argument, supporting details, and a conclusion. That conclusion should link to the next one so that readers want to keep moving forward. This compulsion is the key to creating a consistent narrative. When chapters are disjointed, readers won’t have a compelling reason to keep moving. If anything, they may only skim through the facts and put the book aside.

Also, details should intermingle with the thesis to paint a picture in a clear and straightforward manner. After all, ambiguity will undoubtedly spoil any book’s message. Crafting unclear or embellished sentences will not succeed in making the writer look smart. It will only lead to the reader losing interest.

Conclusion

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Writing top-quality nonfiction content is a combination of skill, talent, and hard work. Writers that take the time to hone their craft eventually develop a sense of excellent writing.

Since writing is an art, it is a question of each individual developing their own style. In the end, the goal is to let each writer’s voice shine through the words on the page.

Also, writing is about taking a structured and measured approach that can lead to clear and concise ideas. Ultimately, it is this structured approach that allows authors to let their imagination soar. This approach enables authors to create a consistent narrative that leads readers to feel engaged with the text.

Outstanding nonfiction content is the kind that transports the reader into the mind of the writer. However, this cannot occur unless the author can peek inside the mind of the reader.

Autobiography or Memoir? Choosing the Right Format for Writing Your Life Story

Do you have a story to tell about your life? Have you been considering writing an autobiography? Or is it a memoir you really want to write?

What’s the difference? And how do you decide which is right for your story?

While the terms “autobiography” and “memoir” are often used interchangeably, there are some important distinctions. And understanding those distinctions will help you decide which format best fits your needs.

What’s the Difference Between Autobiography and Memoir?

Autobiography

The word autobiography is derived from three Greek words meaning “self,” “life,” and “writing.”  As defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, an autobiography is “an account of a person’s life written by that person.”

An autobiography, by definition, usually covers an entire lifetime. It’s typically a chronological, linear account. Although, some autobiographies move back and forth in time in order to dramatize events.

Autobiographies tend to be formal, factual, objective life stories, with an emphasis on key events that shaped the writer. 

According to Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew, a Minneapolis-based writing teacher and author of Writing the Sacred Journey: The Art and Practice of Spiritual Memoir, a key distinction between autobiography and memoir is the writer’s intent.

“Autobiography serves a different purpose than memoir does,” she says. “Autobiography is a personal narrative of a life that’s a complete record of that life. And because of that, it honors all dimensions of that life.”

Memoir

A memoir, by contrast, is a more intimate, personal narrative focused on a specific meaningful aspect of the writer’s life.

The word memoir is derived from the French word memoire, meaning memory or reminiscence. 

Masterclass.com defines memoir as a “first person written account of events and memories from the author’s real life. Memoirs…focus on personal experience, intimacy, and emotional truth.”

A memoir is generally organized thematically rather than chronologically, giving readers a glimpse into a defining life event or experience.

In a memoir, the writer tells his or her story through a particular lens, such as grief, illness, or addiction.

It might also be about a place, like Kathleen Norris’s Dakota, or a person, like Vivian Gornick’s Fierce Attachments, about her relationship with her mother.

Memoirs are more often motivated by curiosity, exploration, and the desire to gain perspective on life events.

“Memoir is more composed, more crafted,” says Andrew.  “It has art as part of its intent. A strong attribute of memoir is the author’s willingness to reflect on and make meaning of the past.”  This quality of reflectiveness is a primary distinction of a memoir.

A good memoir is characterized by a compelling theme, like the search for identity in Barack Obama’s Dreams from my Father, and a strong character arc–the writer’s emotional journey or inner transformation over the course of the story. 

It also tends to incorporate elements of fiction—dramatic tension, character development, dialogue—to create vivid storytelling and a more visceral experience for the reader.

Finally, a well-written memoir goes beyond the writer’s individual story to illuminate universal human truths.

For example, Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes, about his impoverished Irish upbringing, is ultimately a story of transcendence and forgiveness.

In summary, think of an autobiography as the story of your life, and a memoir as a story about a specific, defining aspect of your life—a particular experience, relationship, place, or quest.

Graphic by TWFH

What Do They Have in Common?

Regardless of whether you choose to write autobiography or memoir, compelling personal narrative shares some key characteristics.

Both autobiographies and memoirs have a clear story arc–a well-organized structure and progression, regardless of whether they’re chronologically told.  And they’re selective, using well-chosen details.

An effective personal narrative is also relatable in some way. Although we may not have had the writer’s specific experiences, the story has emotional resonance.  We can recognize the human challenges the writer has faced.  What lessons can we take from the story for our own lives?

The best autobiographies and memoirs share another important quality: inspiration.  

Though our lives may be nothing like the writer’s, we come away feeling inspired by their story, their challenges, and their triumphs.

Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, about her lifelong struggles with racism and her quest for identity and dignity, is a soaring example of an inspirational autobiography.

Graphic by TWFH

Which is Right for You—Autobiography or Memoir?

In thinking about your story, consider the following questions.

Why are you telling your story?  If you want to capture the fullness of your life as a legacy for family and friends, it may be best served by autobiography.  If you’re focused on exploring and understanding a specific life experience, memoir may be more appropriate.

Think about your motivation and what will keep you inspired as you move through the often lengthy and complex writing process.

Who are you writing for?  What do you want readers to take away from your story?

Andrew suggests that one way to determine which form suits your story best is to consider your writing process. When you begin  to write, what memories emerge organically?

“I often suggest to writers that they create a timeline of the important events they’re inspired to write about, or just brainstorm those events and put them out on a page, and then write them in whatever order they want,” she says. 

“When you’re motivated more by curiosity than by feeling bound to a particular form or chronology, you can allow the story to take its own shape. Trust your own instincts.”

Ready to Write? How to Get Started

Whether you’re writing your autobiography or your memoir, there are a wealth of resources available.

Elizabeth Andrew’s website offers a comprehensive list of exemplary titles and other writing resources. Here are some additional options to get you started:

  • A simple internet word search like “how to write an autobiography or memoir” turns up a vast compendium of online articles.
  • Countless books provide instruction on writing memoir and autobiography. Again, a Google or Amazon search will deliver access to a range of writing guides.
  • Writing courses in autobiography and memoir are available through many organizations including Masterclass, Skillshare, and Udemy.
  • Writing coaches and teachers offer personal instruction and guidance in memoir and autobiography writing.

You may also want to consider hiring a ghostwriter.  There are many good ghostwriting and book development services that can provide expert help with the process.

Telling your story, whether as autobiography or memoir, is a significant and worthwhile undertaking. By giving careful thought to the elements of your story and your purpose in writing it, you’ll be well-prepared for the journey.

Copywriter Q&A: Jessica Stautberg Discusses the Art of Writing an Unforgettable Memoir

With over a decade of writing experience, Jessica Stautberg has written content for everything from websites and blogs to books and press releases. At The Writers For Hire (TWFH), Jessica serves as our lead copywriter, and is also one of our experts on writing memoirs and autobiographies.

In this installment of our Copywriter Q&A series, we talked to Jessica about what defines a memoir, and asked for her tips and advice for ensuring that your memoir is unforgettable.


TWFH: Let’s start with the basics. What’s the difference between a memoir and an autobiography?

JS: A memoir has a more specific topic or time period. For example, a veteran might write a  memoir about his/her experiences during war, or a recovering alcoholic might write about his/her struggle with the disease. An autobiography encompasses more of a person’s entire life story.

TWFH: How do you decide if you want to write a memoir or an autobiography?

JS: Ask yourself what you want the reader to know about you. Are you giving them an account of your entire life? Or are you trying to give them a sense of what it feels like to be, for example, someone struggling with cancer treatment/growing up in poverty/breaking a barrier, etc.

TWFH: Can you talk a little about how memoir and fiction are similar?

JS: In addition to being more specific and not all encompassing, a memoir relies more on emotion and feeling to convey the writer’s experiences. So, it might read more like fiction by using more metaphors, imagery, etc.

TWFH: How much “truth” does a memoir need? Is it more important to tell the facts or to get the “essence” of the story and make sure that the emotion comes across?

JS: I think both are important, but people can’t remember all the minute details that writers often use to create a scene or convey a feeling. When writing a memoir, I think you should get the big, important facts right (as much as possible), and take liberty with descriptive details and dialogue.

TWFH: Is there ever a point when you can embellish too much or take too many liberties? A point where it’s no longer a memoir?

JS: Yes, I think once you’re starting to fictionalize some of the bigger plot points of the memoir, then you’re heading into “fictional work based on real life” territory.

TWFH: How do you keep a memoir interesting – especially if you’re writing one for an “average” person (not a celebrity or someone who has lived a super-exciting life)?

JS: Apply some of the elements of a novel to your memoir: You have a protagonist with a specific motivation who faces conflicts over the course of the story, culminating in a climax and resolution at some point. Write about your own struggles and really fill out a peak point in your story.

For example, maybe something like a divorce, a medical procedure, or a new career changed the course for your life. Give the reader all the drama surrounding that event. Talk about the relationship conflicts before the divorce and the strain on your life during and after it. Talk about your health issues, feelings, and fears before your medical procedure and the road to recovery afterwards. And talk about how you overcame the obstacles of your career change.

TWFH: What are some common subjects/themes for memoirs?

JS: Coming of age; friendship; overcoming adversity; parenthood; survival; adjusting to new circumstances; hard work; grief; faith…

TWFH: What kind of research goes into writing a memoir?

JS: It doesn’t hurt to research things like plot creation and structure so that you can properly organize your story. Also, I always think it’s useful to read books that are similar to the one you want to write.

TWFH: Do you ever use historical research/facts to pad or enhance your memoirs?

JS: It’s sometimes helpful to do historical research while writing a memoir. Often, the writer’s memory will fail on certain historical details that become important in positioning their story in time. For example, maybe your memoir includes fleeing the war-torn city of your childhood. You probably don’t remember exactly which months out of the year those events occurred, and maybe you weren’t aware of the political events that were important to the scenario. It’s helpful to the reader to look up those details and include them.

TWFH: How do you handle writing about other people in a memoir? Do you need to ask permission? Use fake names? Should you let them read what you’ve written? Is it OK to create composite characters and use them as stand-ins for real people? 

JS: If you say something overly negative about someone, then you open yourself up to defamation allegations. If someone plays a large part in your memoir, then it doesn’t hurt to ask permission. It also doesn’t hurt to have a lawyer review your book, just in case. 

TWFH: How do you organize a memoir? Do memoirs have to be chronological?

JS: Memoirs do not have to be chronological! That being said, autobiographies don’t either. You can certainly shift back and forth in time in either genre, although I think it’s more common in memoirs.

TWFH: Do you have any suggestions for avoiding confusion when shifting back and forth between time periods?

JS: Many memoirs will add a date and place at the beginning of a new section to help orient the reader. I like to do section breaks and then add a label like “July 6, 1967, New York City,” for example.

TWFH: What elements do you think are necessary for a good memoir?

JS: Memoirs need a theme, which we discussed above. It also needs conflict to keep it interesting, and a writing style that reflects you (since the reader will probably picture you telling the story). It also needs storytelling elements such as setting, character development, and a plot.

TWFH: Do you have any other suggestions for people who want to write a memoir?

JS: Figure out what lessons you’ve learned in your life and use your memoir to try to teach your reader those lessons in an interesting way.


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