The internet is a fantastic place.

I did a quick search on how to write a memoir, and the first hit was a wonderful find. William Zinsser’s On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
has always had a place in my top 5 references about writing. Today’s discovery was a piece from The American Scholar, Spring 2006.

In the aptly titled, “How to Write a Memoir,” Zinsser lays out ideas that will help any writer start down the path to successful memoir writing. I especially liked his final advice:

Go to your desk on Monday morning and write about some event that’s still vivid in your memory. What you write doesn’t have to be long—three pages, five pages—but it should have a beginning and an end. Put that episode in a folder and get on
with your life. On Tuesday morning, do the same thing. Tuesday’s episode doesn’t have to be related to Monday’s episode. Take whatever memory comes calling; your subconscious mind, having been put to work, will start delivering your past.

Read the rest of the article here.

I can’t wait to see how my project develops using Zinsser’s advice, and I certainly can’t wait for Monday to begin. How magnificent to be alive in an age where we can find these gems in a few seconds online. My only danger is spending too much time reading scholarly advice, and spending too little time putting the advice to practice.


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