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How to write a memoir

For more ideas on deliberate practice, you can check out this article:. I wrote when I felt like it. No wonder I made no real progress as a writer. But everything changed when I started using a system.

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I wrote a novel, a musical, and over posts in less than a year. I gained over a thousand followers and became a top writer in 8 categories on Medium. And the ball is still rolling — because I am still honing my system. I read, on average, three books a week. On various topics. I also read comments and articles online. I start and end my day by reading, usually a couple hours. I highlight interesting ideas, type notes and thoughts in my ebook, and send emails to myself or use my Notes App whenever I come up with an interesting potential idea. I have my entire writing system written out on a document that I adjust as needed see below.

Currently, my goal is to complete or revise at minimum two articles per day. So when I sit down to write, I:.

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If, while working on one article, I come up with an interesting idea for a future article, I write it down immediately and then return to my current project. That way I always have a stash of ideas in various stages of completion to work on. Here is one last tip I leave with you:. Whatever your writing system is, write it down. For instance, this is my current writing system:. Key: Bolded items are nonnegotiable. Other initials refer to other publications. The Med chart is an excel spreadsheet where I keep track of everything I write.

Kevary is the name of my current novel WIP work in progress. But writing things down make them more likely to happen. By writing down my system I am holding myself to it. It keeps me accountable, and helps me to keep writing no matter what. On the other hand, there are people who do the opposite, writing anything and everything that comes to mind stream-of-consciousness style and then wondering why no one is paying attention. To avoid both errors, you need to come up with a writing system. Of course, systems vary from person to person. What worked for Hemingway may not have worked for King.

What works for me may not work for you. You need to develop your own system, usually through trial and error. Just remember to include ALL of the three components above: gathering material, writing, and honing your craft. You need all three legs to form the foundation that will help you to achieve your writing dreams.

Sometimes it seems like those writing giants are so far beyond us poor peons. As the great Jack London once said:. Your writing system is that club.

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You can do that too. So stop waiting for your muse to come along and magic you into becoming a brilliant writer. If you really want to be a great writer, use a writing system:. Design your 3-pronged system that fits your life. Test and adjust it until it works. Then write it down, and stick to it.

Grab your free checklist now! Sign in. Get started. Want to be a Great Writer? Do This Instead. Stop at the appointed time! Sarah Cy Follow. A honed writing system. Three things: Gathering material Writing Honing your craft These three are interlinked, but they are also separate, like the three legs of a three-legged stool. Step 1. Where to gather writing material Mine your life history for ideas — look through your journal, search your memory banks, etc. Then listen. Really listen.

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Not only will this help you come up with ideas to write about, it can improve your relationship with the person everyone likes to talk about themselves, and there are definitely not enough listeners around to hear all the stories. Read books and articles. A lot of them.

A Subjective Magic: Jenny Boully’s Betwixt-and-Between - The

Instead, she discusses her own writing life. I may work on a project for three months and then do nothing for three months. The magic of Betwixt is not prescriptive, but subjective; Boully splays open her own torso and readers divine what they need to from the spill of her organs. I, too, have been this student.

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One student told me I was an unreliable narrator because the work felt so fictional. I am more mixed than many, many people I know. My father grew up knowing only that he was half Cherokee, half white… My mother is half Thai, but she has curly hair, as do I, which leads me to think there must be something else lurking in there. In terms of what I write, it seems that my writing is also mixed. I am sometimes called a poet, sometimes an essayist, sometimes a lyric essayist, sometimes a prose poet….

I find these categorizations odd: I have never felt anything other than whole. Someone—something—hybrid, mixed, betwixt-and-between, is still one. If Boully had a thesis, this would be it.

This hybridity is also reflected in the form of the essays in Betwixt. If you need to say love, I prefer you substitute it with pizza.

I pizza you. But the passage of time is not always kind to Boully.

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  • By sharing these personal experience, the point Boully seems to be making is that the writing life is not just about putting words on a page, but observing, daydreaming, and feeling. Poetry is an instant. It strikes us oh-so-quickly, it makes us mourn.