From YSC: November is NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, a month-long push for writers to get 50,000 words on paper. Harness the power of a deadline and community to jumpstart your writing practice.

Memoir is a genre closely associated with celebrities. Some memoirs like Tina Fey’s Bossypants soar above the rest to become instant classics.

But writing memoir is not just for the famous. Everyone has stories to tell and moments in their lives worth preserving, both for themselves and future generations.

Select Moments that Shine

Don’t think of memoir as an autobiography, a sometimes laborious recounting of a narrator’s entire lifetime. A memoir is much more selective — it’s a collection of moments or events of significant importance that add up to deeper meaning. A memoir is both an exploration and an interpretation of the events in your life.

Memoir can be a powerful tool for young adults coping with breast cancer. The act of processing your journey through story allows you to gain new insights into your experience. Developing a daily writing practice can also serve as a quiet, meditative time for you.

Why Write

  • Getting events on paper can help identify threads and themes in your life and gain clarity about them. This can help you view your experiences in a broader context.
  • As memories are recalled and recorded, more memories can follow, some of which may have been long forgotten.
  • Memoirs often become cherished family heirlooms that are passed down from generation to generation. Writing memoir is the closest we can get to immortality as it is a way for us to share our lives and stories with our descendants.

Start Today

Thinking about creating a memoir may feel daunting, but a few minutes each day accumulates over time into many memories and a calming habit. Here are a few ideas to get you started:


If you want to take advantage of NaNoWriMo, follow along on Twitter for inspiration from your fellow writers. This annual event attracts millions of writers each year. It’s a fun way to work toward your writing goals, but don’t be discouraged if you don’t reach that 50,000 words. Writing is the journey, not the destination.

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