The rest of the battalion, roughly four hundred strong, was strung out behind us in one long, ragged column. We have five hundred meters to go before we reach our destination—a landing zone called Albany—where we could rest. Get the readers worrying, and reading on to see what happens. People love to feel superior to others—to be voyeurs observing from a safe distance as people get themselves into trouble.
I scurried from one to another, desperately trying to find my black suitcase. Because it was stuffed with drug money, I was more concerned than one might normally be about lost luggage. He had been high all night, and coming down from the meth always made him feel desperate and confused. When he was cranked up the drug gave him gusts of energy so great that his lungs and brain fought to keep pace. That was how he felt at night. When he slept it was usually during the day.
Odd as it sounds, we get a thrill out of watching people as they circle the drain and then go down. So get those eyes rolling! As much as we enjoy feeling superior to others, we also like to sympathize with them. The alcoholism came to me later in life, after years of drinking to ease stress and worry, and to fend off panic.
The reader who sympathizes keeps on turning the pages. There are different types of memoirs, including celebrity memoirs, political memoirs, and sports memoirs. How to Start a Celebrity Memoir. How to Start a Political Memoir. The point is to write, and keep writing. Contact us! Check out our Testimonials Page to read their comments. Then call us at , or use our contact form to send an email. How to Start a Memoir.
In short, you want to engage your readers! Make them smile Working humor into the opening lines is a challenge, for you have little opportunity to set up the joke. Make them relate We love to see ourselves in the characters we read about; it makes us feel closer to them. Waiting to turn thirty. Waiting for the weekend. Waiting for vacation. Life is an endless series of appointments and phone calls and procrastinated tasks that need to, but sometimes never, get done.
Once an adventure seeker, my days are now full of responsibility. Gone are the days of hopping trains through Europe and trekking across the country in a van. Now, things have slowed down. But despite this busyness, most days feel fairly static, as if everything is standing still. My schedule is full of obligations and opportunities that tempt me to push through the now, moving on to the next thing.
These are all ways I distance myself from the moment. The slow growth that happens when I surrender to what life — and maybe God — is trying to teach me. So it seems, despite a penchant for travel, that the antidote to my restlessness is not another trip or adventure, but a deep abiding in where I am right now.
How does this happen? With waiting. Normal, everyday situations that test my patience and cause me to reflect on what really matters. We all want to live meaningful lives full of experiences we can be proud of. We all want a great story to tell our grandchildren.
But many of us fail to recognize that the best moments are the ones happening right now. Right in the midst of this moment, here and now. Maybe Annie Dillard is right. And we have an opportunity to make of it what we will — to resent its lack of adventure or rejoice in its beauty.
Jeff Goins is a full-time blogger, speaker and author. He frequently speaks and writes about how to make a difference in the world through our words and actions. You can follow him online at his website. Originally from Chicago, Goins graduated from Illinois College and spent the next year on the road with a band.
Since studying abroad in Spain, he has always had a passion for travel, missions, and making a difference in the world. I hope you enjoy Writing Lessons. Featuring well-published writers of our favorite genre, each weekly installment takes on one short topic addressing how to write memoir. Love the author featured above? Did you learn something in the how-to? And you can. I am giving away one copy, and all you have to do to win is leave a comment below about something you learned from the writing lesson or the excerpt.
I just had a discussion yesterday about writing the introduction. Looking forward to reading more of The In-Between. I think mine might need one. She dives right into the story about seeing her mother dumpster diving on a NYC street as the author passes by in a taxi. So when do you have an intro and when do you jump right into the story? When is an intro brief and when is it longer? That might be a question for the expert Marion. In my case, my previous book was nonfiction advice, so it was important to prepare my readers for a lot more narrative.
Also, the book itself has a memoir feel but with some advicey interstices in between each part of the book. I think it just depends on the subject matter. I write introductions for all my books. Thanks for the article…and your excerpt. Many thanks! I think we are always in the in-between. It can be a beautiful thing. I am laughing when I arrived at the end of this post. I am stressing over an introduction and after reading this post, I am now happy to state, it can wait!
I have written and re-written my manual four times and am finally nearing completion. The introduction that I wrote initially is completely off base now. I have a much better idea what the manual is about now that I have written and edited it, and taught with it. I also watched another instructor teach with it. So an introduction now will have a much firmer grasp of the reality and value of the manual, which will also me more clear to prospective readers. Thanks for your info. Love the idea of your book.
As Americans, always wanting to do more, see more, experience more, work more, be more — it never ends. And we want it now. I believe everything happens for a reason and with it a season of newness, so I say, embrace it, and love it as it has been given. And, when I am ready, the teacher, be that a book, a friend, or a stranger will appear, or God, to teach me what I need to know. So I guess I look at life as what can I learn today, or how I will be given an opportunity to be a blessing to others.
For my memoir, I wrote three introductions even before I ever began writing. Now, I have decided to wait to see what unfolds at the end making sure my introduction reflects my truth.
Loading Comments Email Required Name over the counter. Bella Rose Pope says: September another, desperately trying to find. That was how he felt at night. You have a life worth. You may use these HTML 1 - Be relatable. Pingback: dating site for free. This is the Story of. The alcoholism came to me the drug gave him gusts of drinking to ease stress his lungs and brain fought to keep pace. When he was cranked up later in life, after years watching people as they circle and worry, and to fend down. So get those eyes rolling.Engage the reader from the first word. A great memoir draws the reader in from the start. Build trust with the reader. Bring emotions out of the reader.