Introduction to Writing Your Memoirs
This is the first part of our serialisation of our book The Recordalife Guide to Creating Your Memoirs. Every post will be a chapter from this book, which we will make available at the end of the serialisation.
One of our blog posts, The Five Elements of an Autobiography, has been extremely popular and we have had requests to expand on it, so this is very much intended to provide more details and guidance.
At Recordalife we specialise in capturing people’s Life Stories. By that, we mean recording in both print and audio the story of their life including each aspect of it, from childhood, to family, to career and marriage, to pastimes, to retirement. We have created many Life Stories with our author clients and it is true to say that there is no such thing as a boring life! Everybody has lived a life of challenges and achievements and there are always fascinating anecdotes and characteristics to everyone.
Definition of a Life Story, Memoir or Autobiography
When we refer to Life Stories, we mean precisely that, the story of their life from the beginning. This includes memoirs and autobiographies:
A memoir can be defined as the narrative based on the experience of a particular event or part of a life, such as an anecdote or the story of one’s time with an employer or in the forces.
An autobiography or memoirs (plural) or Life Story relates to the full history of experiences and events in a person’s life. People often write their own memoirs or autobiography, or they hire a ghostwriter to write it for them, or they use a service like Recordalife, which creates both a book of their life (from interviews and then transcribes and edits the text), and also the voice recording of the person being interviewed, therefore “telling their story, in their words, and in their voice”.
In essence, the terms life story, memoirs and autobiography are interchangeable. In all cases, you can write them yourself as the author, or use a third party such as Recordalife to interview you and then write them as our Recordalife Life Story service. In addition, if you do write them yourself, you can also use a third party to create the printed book of your memoirs for you, including editing and printing, which again is a service that Recordalife provides called Memoirs to Print.
The Value of Anyone’s Life Story
We have a little saying inside Recordalife, which is “it’s not a question of why you should capture your or a loved one’s life story, but why wouldn’t you?” We and the people we love have lived such varied lives, have felt a wide range of emotions, have loved and lost, have strived, failed and achieved, have laughed and cried. And each of those life experiences is unique and valuable, often to us personally, but also to our families who want to know how we lived, how we got here. And it can also be of interest to the wider world who might want to be able to read your publicly-published memoirs if that is what you would like.
So, really, why wouldn’t you want to capture your life story? It’s unique, it’s marvellous and your loved ones will cherish it. Of course, many people start writing their memoirs but never complete them, or take years and years to do so. Or perhaps they have kept a diary for all or part of their lives. But getting it completed can be quite a challenge – life gets in the way!
That is why a service such as Recordalife can be so valuable – we will interview you and write your life story for you from the interview audio. In a finite amount of time, and as little as two months, your story will be captured and turned into beautiful full colour hardback books. Why wouldn’t you?
But whether you want to write your memoirs yourself, or want us to capture them for you, the process is similar, and this series will provide you with a wide picture and guide on how we go about it, and how you can also go about it yourself. Either way, we are here to turn your life story into a printed and permanent record in the form of hardback books and audio CDs, along with their digital equivalents.
It’s an exciting process, preparing yourself, reminiscing, asking family and friends for any anecdotes. We are with you all the way.
In future posts we will look at many aspects of how to write your memoirs, including:
- What makes a good autobiography
- How to organise your thoughts, memories and life events into a timeline so that you can structure future writing or interviews
- Questions to ask yourself
- Capturing your voice, your style, your personality
- The practical requirements in terms of materials, writing, recording and printing
- “Who Are You & What Does It Matter?”
- “Help People Experience Life Through Your Eyes”
- “Use the Best Stories of Your Life”
- How to combine memoirs to build your autobiography
- The importance of photography
- Examples of the best memoirs
- The Steps to Creating Your Autobiography
- Proofreaders, Editors, Ghostwriters, Oral Historians & Life Recorders.
- Do you want to publicly publish your book? How?
We hope you really enjoy our this upcoming series of posts. If you would like to be notified when the next chapter is published, please fill in the form below. Of course, if you would like to take the easier route and ask us to capture your or a loved one’s life story straight away, our business is to listen, so please call us on +44 208 123 5470 (UK) or +1 844 278 4263 (USA) or via our contact page, or simply order online, and you will have your printed memoirs in as little as two months.
Please fill in the form below to be updated when we post new chapters of our guide: