KEMPS Top 5: Memoir Writing

 If you’ve been struggling to write your story and don’t quite know how to start, here are a few of my KEMPS KWIK go-to  tips that are sure to take your personal story from “ho-hum” to “page-turner”.

KEMPS TOP 5: Memoir Writing

(Click for Downloadable PDF)

Top 5 DO’s

1. Do journal. Start small, write a memory a day.
2. Do think you’re interesting. If you don’t, no one else will.
3. Do talk to people. Talking to people who were there helps to jog your memory.
4. Do get used to talking about yourself. It’s your story, you are the main character.
5. Do remember, it’s not about you. You are a character, but there should be a greater point.

Top 5 DON’Ts

1. Don’t include every single moment since the day you were born–it’s boring.
2. Don’t think you have to tell everything in chronological order–it’s boring.
3. Don’t be afraid to tell the truth. It’s often far more interesting than fiction.
4. Don’t worry about hurting people’s feelings–it’s bound to happen anyway.
5. Don’t become a slave to the truth. It’s okay to misremember–it’s bound to happen anyway.


1. An interesting point of view/perspective–boring isn’t the book anyone wants to read
2. Something to say–everyone has a story, but not everyone has a point
3. A storyteller’s spirit–grammar can be fixed, but there has to be a good story
4. The ability to let things go–it will never be perfect
5. A spark of creativity

KEMPS’ Golden Memoir Rule

A good memoir starts with a great story!

Everyone has a story, but not everyone has a great story. The kind of story that sparks other people’s imaginations and makes them think. The kind of story that crosses boundaries, inspires and stirs. The kind of story that’s simply interesting and makes you want to know more. A good memoir starts with a great story, one that speaks to more people than just you and contributes something to its readers. If your story is about you and for you, you don’t have a memoir–you have a personal accounting, a journal. To create a memoir, you need to find the connection between you and your reader and pull them into your life so they can see the world just a little bit differently when they turn the final page.

Writing a memoir is not for everyone. But don’t let lack of training or unruly thoughts stand in your way if you know you have something to say. There are so many ways to get your story onto the pages that readers are yearning to turn.

When in doubt, contact me! With custom solutions and personalized care, I’m here to help you.

Kate E. Stephenson is a freelance communications specialist whose business encompasses content writing, comprehensive editing and quality resume services. Lexicon is her brainchild, a blog all about Language—insight into today’s job market and hiring tips, book releases and reviews, and general folly concerning the many mysterious facets of the English language and human communication. Be sure to read more about Kate, check out a full listing of services and rates, and enjoy her weekly columns on!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.