In the July issue of The Writer, there is an article by author and pianist, Robin Meloy Goldsby about her new memoir, Piano Girl. The story of how she found her publisher is one all writers dream of. Before the book was completely finished, she sent a proposal to Backbeat Books. She was offered a contract, an advance and a 6 month deadline. Wouldn't it be nice if it was that easy for everyone?
She goes on to share an important piece of advice for those writing a memoir.
"Memoirists suffer from the curse of too much material. Constructing a solid outline in advance eased the selection process for me. Before I started writing, I knew exactly which stories I wanted to tell."
As I have been working on this memoir mini-series, this piece of advice keeps popping up. Unlike a fiction story that you can allow to unfold as you write, a memoir is about true events-you can't change what happened. Because of this, it makes sense to outline and plan what to include in the memoir before sitting down to write it.
My favorite part of the article was her piece of advice at the end:
"Don't wait for the book-launch party to break out the champagne. Instead, revel in the honest victory of each well-crafted sentence. Celebrate! Remember that the joy of writing reveals itself when you make your story sing."