5 Memoir #Quotes and How To #Write A #Memoir | Scott Berkun




memoir quotes


 William Zinsser

“To write a good memoir you must become the editor of your own life, imposing on an untidy sprawl of half-remembered events a narrative shape and organizing idea.  Memoir is the art of inventing the truth.”


Anne Lamott

Remember that you own what happened to you. If your childhood was less than ideal, you may have been raised thinking that if you told the truth about what really went on in your family, a long bony white finger would emerge from a cloud and point to you, while a chilling voice thundered, “We *told* you not to tell.” But that was then. Just put down on paper everything you can remember now about your parents and siblings and relatives and neighbors, and we will deal with libel later on.”


Gloria Swanson

I’ve given my memoirs far more thought than any of my marriages. You can’t divorce a book.”


Salman Rushdie

Someone asked me if I was afraid to write my memoirs. I told him: We have to stop drawing up accounts of fear! We live in a society in which people are allowed to tell their story, and that is what I do.”


William Faulkner

The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”


I came across this succinct description of writing in memoir I wanted to share here by Scott Berkun  who is a very successful writer and memoirist. He wrote a fascinating and finely detailed accounting of all that is involved in writing memoir. In his post he also includes lots of helpful tips as well as a list of references to books, helpful for writing in memoir.

How To Write A Memoir | Scott Berkun.


D.G. Kaye©2015

36 thoughts on “5 Memoir #Quotes and How To #Write A #Memoir | Scott Berkun

    1. Hi Alex, I’m flattered you want to reblog this. As you may know, self-hosted sites don’t have the ‘reblog’ button available. But we all have the availability of ‘press this’ tool in our dashboards. You can get it by going into your dashboard, clicking on tools, and download the ‘press this’ marklet, and keep it on your top bar of your page or in your ‘favorites’. Then whenever you come across an article you’d like to repost, just click on your marklet while you’re on the page and it will open a draft with the link to the blog you want to add. Once you have the draft page set up with the link, if you want to go back to that blog to copy and paste part of the blog to your draft you can.
      PS. At the very least if you find that confusing and you ever want to repost something, just copy the link yourself to the page you like and paste it in a new draft and go from there.
      I hope I didn’t confuse you, but gave you some food for thought. 🙂


      1. O.K. — Installed Press This — went to you post and press the button — added a bit of my own words — it looked like I was publishing to my blog but it’s not there — where do Press This thingies go???


  1. Memoir really is the art of inventing the truth. I’ve always been intrigued by how no two people will remember a shared event the same way. Do I have the guts to put various slices of my topsy-turvy life into memoir? Time will tell.


    1. Hi Jeri. Thanks for sharing that comment. It’s so true, that everyone has his/her own rendition of what they’ve experienced. But as many good books on memoir say, memoir is truth, it is the writer’s truth, the way the writer experienced it. 🙂 Now go on, give it a go! 🙂


  2. These are wonderful memoir quotes Debby, and I loved Scott Berkun’s article too, which I read via your FB link. Thanks so much for much for sharing these…just what I needed as I press on with my edits 🙂 ❤


      1. You’re too sweet! I would never think that! I hope it’s for good reasons. ❤ I always admire the way you can take a time out and find a way to catch up! Don't leave us too long! xo :


  3. Read every word of Scott’s brilliant post. Got me thinking about the secret reason I wrote my book. I believed I wasn’t seeking revenge on my despicable family members but I must admit that when I heard they were upset about the story being out there (despite their names not being included) I did get a tiny twinge of satisfaction about some justice being done. Must rethink my motivation but in the meantime, this is a great post for anyone considering writing a true story. It’s not for the fainthearted!


    1. Hi Deb. Thanks for your honesty. Ya, that article really hits home on some sore spots huh? As for fainthearted, writing memoir takes a lot of courage; if not to write, certainly to publish. 🙂


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