Tag Archives: Free memoir discussion

July Roundtable Webinar- FREE to All – July 6, 2017

How I Wrote My Memoir: One Sentence a Day

Thais Derich

July 6, 2017 


We are grateful that Thais Derich can join us for this FREE Roundtable Discussion teleseminar. She will discuss how she wrote her book, hired an agent by the hour, and found her publisher. Thais will surprise you when you learn about her unconventional path to publishing, her entrepreneurial spirit, and her passion for social justice in our writing.

Thais Nye Derich, in her memoir, Second Chance: A Mother’s Quest for a Natural Birth After a Cesarean, falls under the power of clinician-directed medical birth rather than one guided by the body’s own intuitive knowledge.

Derich’s story telling is empowering and she gains strength and healing through her vulnerability on the page. However, she writes her story, too, in solidarity with other women and their birth stories, refusing to whitewash the difficulties while still celebrating the moments of joy. It is fitting that she ends her memoir balanced between these difficulties and the joys.

You will learn:

  • How Derich wrote her book using this mantra: “one sentence a day.”
  • The ways that your memoir picks you.
  • How your story is bigger than yourself.
  • Learn how writing and speaking about a cause are different.
  • How to be a writer with young children.
  • How to balance family, work, and the art of writing.

Derich speaks about her story and the intersection between birth and social justice. Derich’s past work has been published in Salon, BlogHer, BabyCenter, Literary Mama, Wild Violet Literary Magazine, Forge Journal, SFGate, the San Francisco Examiner, among others and performed live at the Listen to Your Mother show. A chapter of Second Chance was a finalist out of 500 entries for the Creative Non-Fiction Magazine’s baby anthology. She now lives in beautiful Marin County, where she is writing her second book.


Listen to the recording below:

How to Get Your Memoir Written and Promoted at the Same Time

Only a small percentage of writers who say they’d like to write a memoir ever do. As in most areas, only two percent of those who talk about doing something ever do it.

Most writers would also like to write and publish a successful book, but they aren’t willing to do what it takes to produce a successful book—one that sells to lots of readers. They say it takes too much work, and work that does not relate to writing. Promotion takes them away from writing their book, or memoir.

They are wrong. It does take work, but they can write and promote their book at the same time. In fact, they can write their memoir while promoting it and themselves, thus building the platform, or fan base, they need to produce a successful book.

How do you accomplish this? By blogging your memoir. That’s right. Compose it a post at a time in cyberspace. As you do so, you will not only get your book written, you will create a fan base of readers ready to purchase the finished book. You will also create a website that is easily findable by those looking for a book like yours and a social media presence that allows you to sell your book more easily to new potential readers. Not only that, if you attract enough readers to your blog—and enough attention from your readers—you might get discovered by an agent or publisher.

Publishing professionals troll the Internet looking for successful blogs because they represent test-marketed book ideas. If your blogged memoir is attracting a steady flow or readers, an agent or publisher will consider it a less risky investment and offer you a contract. If you don’t receive a contract, you can approach publishers and show your blog analytics as proof that you have potential readers for your book—an author platform. Or you can self-publish and market to your fan base.

As with any memoir, a blogged memoir requires that you:

  • Choose a significant time period to write about–one that is significant to you and relevant to readers. Like a novel, it must have a story arc and the character (you) must develop in some interesting manner.
  • Decide if it the story is marketable–one that has a large enough number of potential readers interested in the subject who will read your blog and later purchase the book.
  • Determine if your story offers benefit to readers–some sort of or added value they gain by reading it. The best memoirs touch readers deeply teach them something, or change them in some way.

If your life experiences and the story you want to write about them have these elements, you are ready to blog your memoir.

To do so, you take some of the same steps as you would with any memoir, and then you chunk them down into post-sized steps.

  1. Create a timeline of all the events that happened during the time period you want to include in your memoir.
  2. Decide which are the most important ones—the ones you will include.
  3. Decide on the less important ones that support the more important ones and which, therefore, should also be included.
  4. Make a list of two or three themes that will run through your book, and then describe them in detail.
  5. Go through each vignette you plan to include in the book and determine how one or more of the themes plays into that event. In other words, map out your themes.
  6. Make a list of the characters in your book. Determine how they play into your themes and into your main character’s development.
  7. On your timeline, mark the main climatic moments. Where is the plot rising and falling?
  8. Based on your work in step #7, delineate the starting and stopping points for blog posts. (Keep in mind, you will be writing in short pieces, preferably 500 words at most; you may need to lengthen your posts to 1,000 words to fit in a whole scene or to make a better transition.)
  9. Begin writing your memoir in a word document, post by post, day by day.
  10. Each time you write an “installment,” post it to your blog.

As part of your content plan, try to come up with a bit of “extra” content that you will not publish on the blog. This could be a prologue or an epilogue, a few vignettes that you feel can be left out, maybe even a whole chapter that isn’t crucial to understanding the story. Possibly, you can leave out bits and pieces of each chapter.

Be sure to promote every blog post to your social networks. This is how you will increase the reach of your blog and gain readers.

As you publish your daily or weekly (2-7 times per week is best) posts, you’ll promote your book and get your memoir written at the same time. You’ll enter the two percent of people who actually do what they say the want to do.

Nina Amir, Inspiration-to-Creation Coach, inspires people to combine their purpose and passion so they Achieve More Inspired Results. She motivates both writers and non-writers to create publishable and published products, careers as authors and to achieve their goals and fulfill their purpose. She blogged her book, How to Blog a Book, Write, Publish and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time (Writer’s Digest Books), in five months. Find out more about her and her blogs at www.ninaamir.comwww.copywrightcommunications.com, or www.purspiritcreations.com.

Twitter: www.twitter.com/#!/ninaamir

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Myers makes a compelling case for the power of words as a form of healing and growth.

James W. Pennebaker, Ph.D. professor of psychology, The University of Texas at Austin and author, Opening Up and Writing To Heal

...the NAMW memoir classes with Linda Joy Myers are wonderful

Kathy Pooler