Sunday, August 4, 2013

7 Easy Steps to Memoir Writing by Mary Anne Benedetto

Have you ever been smacked in the head by a lightning bolt? Figurative lightning bolt strikes occur when a particular event elicits an enlightenment, a major change, a turning point.

A few years ago, my husband Fred and I visited Hawaii, and as we reverently stood on the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, my personal lightning bolt flashed before my eyes.

Listening to the history of December 7, 1941 was a moving, emotional moment for everyone present, but especially for me as I remembered that my own dad was present at Pearl Harbor during the bombing and had survived. I tried to recall anything that he had ever told me about that day, but there were no details coming to mind. I had a multitude of questions running through my head, but it was too late to ask him. He had passed away about five years before my Hawaiian trip. I would never learn his version or perspective of that day.

I was incredibly upset with myself for never having taken the time and effort to obtain his stories while it was possible. Had I been so self-absorbed that it never occurred to me? This concern ignited a fire in my heart to inspire others to preserve their stories and to capture the memories of their loved ones before it is too late. Everyone has a worthy story, even if not as dramatic as a war tale.

Through extensive research, I discovered memoir writing expert, Denis Ledoux, and his certification program for memoir writing instructors now known as The Memoir Network. Visit Ledoux and his comprehensive program gave me the foundation to begin a mission to influence and instruct on this important topic.

Through teaching workshops for a few years,  I sensed a personal need to present the subject in a totally uncomplicated manner. My important goal was to simplify the process into easy steps for people, especially senior citizens, and to give them confidence that preserving their stories does not have to be overwhelming. 7 Easy Steps to Memoir Writing: Build a Priceless Legacy One Story at a Time! was born. Using the step-by-step method in my book might not produce a Pulitzer Prize-winning story, but it will get significant life stories and some family history into the hands of loved ones, and that is my primary goal and passion.

This book is a compact publication containing a powerful tool kit, message and program. Following the seven logical steps will guide the reader on a successful journey of memoir writing. It offers additional tips and hints that help in alleviating the overwhelmed feeling inherent in tackling a memoir project. It provides a comprehensive list of questions for interviewing relatives or for formulating your own story, a list of additional resources and select sample stories by a few of my amazing memoir writing workshop students.

The reader will discover that preserving our stories, before they are no longer obtainable, can actually be an enjoyable experience! Children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews will be thankful to have in their possession the stories that we choose to write today! It is the only way they will really know us, how we lived, our significant life events and the paths we traveled. I view memoir writing as a priceless gift that we present to loved ones and a legacy of memories that we provide to future generations.

Utilizing the 7 Easy Steps will ensure that we don’t internally hoard our stories and take them to the grave. Allow this article to be your personal lightning bolt! Capture the stories of a loved one, as well as your own, in 7 Easy Steps.

Please visit for links to all formats including print, Kindle and Nook. 

Book Description

Share with others the significant moments of your life. Make available a collection of your written memories for loved ones to cherish. 7 Easy Steps to Memoir Writing removes the fear and apprehension of starting a memoir preservation project. Loved ones and future generations will someday appreciate the stories that you choose to write today!

About the Author

Mary Anne Benedetto
Mary Anne Benedetto is an author, speaker, blogger, ghostwriter and Certified Lifewriting Instructor. Although she writes inspirational fiction, her foremost passion is teaching memoir writing workshops and helping people capture their life stories to pass along to future generations. Author of Eyelash, Never Say Perfect, 7 Easy Steps to Memoir Writing: Build a Priceless Legacy One Story at a Time! and From Italy with Love & Limoncello, she enjoys golf, travel, walking the spectacular South Carolina beaches and curling up with a great book. Mary Anne is the founder of Beach Author Network in the South Carolina Grand Strand.

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