Diana Raab Blogs: Beginning your Memoir

Often times people write memoir to try to come to terms with an event in their lives. For many people this type of writing is both cathartic and healing. There are numerous ways to begin thinking about writing your memoir, but one idea is to start thinking about what aspect of your life you would like to write about. To help with this decision, here are some questions to consider:

1) What’s going through your head?

2) Who are your villains? Who are your heroes?

3) What are you obsessed by?

4) What inspires you?

Keep in mind that many published writers say their best story ideas come to them when they’re not sitting at their desk ‘working,’ but rather when they’re simply living life. It is therefore important to remain alert to those special moments in your everyday life. This is why I suggest that all writers carry a notebook or journal. You just never know when an idea will strike. It might be while you are reading the daily news, when you have a conversation with a loved one or friend or when you are driving down the freeway and have to pull aside to write.

Remember, the creative life is a journey in that it is unpredictable, unstructured, mysterious and laden with miracles. There is no time like the present to begin. So crack open your notebook and write about the first thing that pops into your head!

Hope to see you in June where I will help you shape some of your ideas into a working structure for your memoir.


Now is the best time to start thinking about your memoir. Why? Because:

1)    April is Stress Awareness Month

2)    May is Mental Health Awareness Month

3)    Writing memoir is often about writing for healing

4)    To prepare for my workshop “From Journal to Memoir”

by Diana M. Raab, MFA, RN