Getting out of the Gate…

This is Part 2 in a five part series on “Preparing to Write Your Memoir”.

Now that you’ve made the decision to write your memoir or autobiography, you will want to get out of the gate quickly to further solidify your commitment.

Writing in notebook

©Di Studio/

Grab your notebook or binder and start by going to that section titled “Stories I Definitely Want to Include”. Chances are you’ve got a few in mind already. Jot them down with just enough detail so you’ll recognize them later. This is a good time to think about the stories that you have shared over and over again through the years. Even if you think everyone has heard a particular story, you should probably include it. Those are the stories people identify with you. So write down any of those stories that you definitely want to include. Leave some blank pages in this section for other stories that you will likely remember as you take this journey.

Next, create a new section in the notebook titled “Stories I May Want to Include”. Put a Post-it Flag here or a divider page if you’re using a binder. It’s pretty clear what should be added here. Just quickly jot down ANY stories or parts of your life that you MAY want to consider adding to your memoir or autobiography. Again, keep it brief at this point.

If you have a copy of the Get it Done! Memoir Workbook or you are using, this is a good time to read through the topics and questions. You may want to write down any memories that are triggered so that you don’t forget them, but mainly you will want to consider two things as your memories are triggered. First, do you have all the details you need for a particular subject or story? Would talking to someone else who was there, enhance what you have to share? Is there any context that Internet research might be able to provide? Second, are there any photos or documents that you could find to include in this section of your memoir?

If you are not using the Get it Done! Memoir Workbook or, you can brainstorm freely or search the Internet for “memory prompts”.

Keep in mind the main notes you need to write down at this point…

  1. Do you need additional information?
  2. What photos and documents might you want to include with these stories and where can you find them?

Start a new section in your notebook for these notes. “Who and What Can Help Tell the Story” might be a good title.

“Preparing to Write Your Memoir” – a five part series

  1. Gather Your Tools
  2. Getting Out of the Gate – You Are Here
  3. Test Your Dictation Tools
  4. Filling in the Gaps
  5. “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words”

Let us know what you think!


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