Connect with why you want to write a memoir

Get ready to write more this year


I have second-guessed myself on several occasions about my decision to write a memoir. Is it self-indulgent, is it worth the effort, does it get boring to sit with my story day in and day out? Can I at all do it?

To have a strong why silences those doubts that show up.

In this post

  • A free printable to write out your why
  • 3 questions to ask yourself to get to the core of your why
  • A quote to answer the question Why publish?

Why I am writing a memoir

When self-doubt creeps in it, is easy to put the desire to write a particular story on the backburner. Because my memoir is related to grief, I can also become afraid to get caught in a downward spiral of energy. So I have to go back to why I wanted to begin in the first place.

I know that the desire for writing this memoir originated from a place of love so I have to reconnect with this. When I do this, there is joy even in the heavy stuff. From the love and joy, the next right step appears. And then I am well on my way to write the memoir I hold in my heart.

To do this I ask myself three questions. What do I love about this project, in what ways does it bring me joy, and from this, what is the next right step?

What do I love about this project?

The answer to this question will look different for every project. For my memoir, it sounds something like this.

I get to spend time in my head with someone I love but who is no longer here. I get to tell a story important to me that otherwise seldom comes up in conversations. I love learning the craft of writing a memoir while writing the story. I love that I have the tools of writing to heal. I love the working title I have assigned to it. I love the peace it brings to my chest. I love that it reminds me to reconnect to my heart. I love the idea that I can give it to my baby girl when she is older.

It is a mix of feelings, strengths, and personality. So come at the question from many different directions.

In what ways does it bring me joy?

To be honest, I had some trouble distinguishing between the love and joy questions at first. But then remembered a piece of writing advice (I think it is from the snowflake method?) about connecting the description of the inner condition of a character with an outside action. So when I have reconnected to the reasons why I love this project I ask myself how this look in action.

I get to read memoirs. It brings me joy to sit by the candlelight and write. It brings me joy that writing on the laptop fastens the pace. It brings me joy to tweak Save the Cat writes a novel to help me write a memoir. It brings me joy to reread old journal entries. It brings me joy to put my hand on my heart before I write.

What is the next right step to take?

This will of cause be different each day but as a guideline, it helps me whenever I remember to slow down.

Today the next right step for me is to light a candle and then put my hand over my heart, breathe and then write on the opening image for 45 minutes.

My why and a free printable

So my why is this.

Writing this memoir makes it a part of my day to put my hand on my heart and then listen and respond on paper to a shared story with someone I love.

If you want to write down your own here is a free PDF printable to download

So now I know why I want to write it. Now I have to figure out why I want to eventually get it published.

Why I want to publish my memoir

It is easy for me to connect with the feeling of why I love to write. I easily find the joy and the next right step is often to sit with my notebook or go for a walk. When it comes to the question of why I want to publish this memoir, the answers don’t present themselves as quickly.

This is where I rely on the help from quotes. I like to have a few quotes help me with the projects I am working on. My favorite quote for writing a memoir is this one.

one day you will tell the story of how you have overcome what you are going through and it will become part of someone else’s survival guide

Unknown

I have been trying to find out where it originates from but without any luck so if you know please share.

It can bring me back to the fear of self-indulgence, but then I think of the books that have helped me through my twenties and thirties and many of them are memoirs written by women going through life-changing events. Each book is not a collection of lifehacks or self-glorification, but ultimate a recognition of the power of a life lived from a place of love.

I want my contribution to join the ranks of this narrative of love.

Action steps to take to find your Why for writing a memoir

  • 1

    Print out 2 printables. One for writing your why for writing this memoir. And one for why you want to publish.

  • 2

    Answer the 3 questions in your notebook. What do I love? How does it bring me joy? What is the next right step to take?

  • 3

    Fill out the printables with the golden nuggets from your answers.

I hope this inspires you to write the memoir you want to write.

The three questions are from a printable of multiple questions which I will share in the next blog post about asking yourself the same question each day for a week in your journal.

memoir Writing a Book

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