I know so many people who would love to write a memoir or life story, but either don’t feel they can for personal reasons, it might be upsetting, they are not sure of what slice of life, who would read it or where to start.
In how to write a memoir, part one, I’m going to talk about where to start because I think that some of the other questions and thoughts will fall into place once we look at this.
Writing a memoir is quite an experience, I’ve written a few and not published them, but I can tell you after a period of reflection that one will be published. I wrote them for healing reasons, and this is something we’ll address another day.
When you are starting to write your memoir, you need a theme and to consider what the outcome for the reader is.
When I look at my memoirs, what I know is that my theme is always healing. One was healing osteoporosis, but the others lack of self-love, low self-worth and the father wound. Every book I have written is about healing some aspect of me.
All of my memoirs have a practical element because they are self-help books too. So, the first place to start is:
- What kind of memoir do you want to write? (Just story or story and self-help)
- What do you want to share?
- Why are you writing it?
- What is the outcome you want for your ideal reader?
- Who is that ideal reader?
Ok, a few simple but very in-depth questions.
What kind of memoir do you want to write?
When I started to write Rude Awakenings I knew that this book would be self-help and memoir, simply because that is my style and these are the kind of books I love.
Go and look at your bookshelf, Kindle or Audible and check out the books that you enjoy. Understand what you love or don’t love.
When I look at my books, what I love is the stories. Not too long, but powerful enough to move me and strongly linked to the what to do bit.
What do you want to share?
That through the power of self-love you can heal anything – this is true for me. What is true for you?
Why are you writing it?
I write to heal and to inspire others to heal or at least know that they can. Fundamentally, despite the title of mentor (coach), I am a healer. Writing is my vehicle for healing because words are so incredibly meaningful. Language can weave spells, and stories can transport you to magical places.
What is the outcome you want for your ideal reader?
This one is always easy for me. I want my reader to know that if it is possible in the world, it is possible for them.
Looking at this with more depth. Again, let’s take Rude Awakenings. I want my readers to believe in magic – their magic – to learn how to love themselves, heal, let go of the wounds of the past and get the life that they want. But more importantly, to discover who they are on the way to getting what they want.
Often in the pursuit of something we miss the vital ingredients of becoming our best selves.
Who is that ideal reader/customer for your memoir?
Oh dear, this age-old question, who are they? Who is my ideal reader – who I’d like to become my ideal client?
This is interesting for me as my business is writing so on one hand there is the client who I would like to inspire to love themselves and heal, there are also the clients that I’d like to inspire to write. So picking just one…
Typically the clients who come to write with me are female, 40+, spiritual, heart-led, conscious, creative, intuitive, have been through trauma and want to use the gifts from this to change the world. They have a story that they feel must be told so that they can inspire others.
They want to find the magic in their story and to be able to share this, so it reaches the right hearts.
They typically have the job title – coach, therapist, counsellor, healer, entrepreneur, nutritionist.
Their location is anywhere where we are on a timeline where we can talk if they have 121 mentoring.
The industry is usually healing, mental health, spiritual, metaphysical, personal development
Other interests would include things like loving and respecting nature and animals, oracle cards, reading, creativity, personal development, journaling and writing and cake…
I’d find them in groups where entrepreneurs hang out, soul and spiritual groups, female-only groups.
So looking at this you would get a great idea of who I wanted to read my books. You’d also know who my ideal clients are.
However… Given my background in executive coaching, personal branding and marketing, I also get clients who are male and fall into these categories. I’ve also coached young women on a mission.
What is important to me is that despite this, we click, that there is a resonance, we enjoy working together, and the story that they want to tell alongside the how-to bit resonates with my theme of healing.
It’s meaningful to know who your ideal customer is, you can have more than one and my advice is don’t cram them into boxes.
Over to you
Grab your journal and explore. This is not a sit down in one session and get it over with. This is something that I would invite you to write and reflect on over a week. To then start to envision your ideal reader coming to you for your memoir and saying what they got from your amazing story. See them wanting to work with you because of what you stand for and can help them with.
Here’s a little affirmation for you too…
It’s easy to see why my ideal reader looks for me.
If you need some more inspiration check out kickstart your memoir. This online course will help you to explore your memories. Or if you are ready to write your book, join us on The Healing Book Project.