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Writing Your Memoirs
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Memoirs into a Book

1. Re-read all your writings. Decide which ones you want to include in your book.

2. Number your writings and give each a "working title" - description of what writing is about.

3. Make a list of each numbered item: Number, working title, first 5-8 words of entry..
Example: Item 1. First Job - "I wanted to show how capable I was ...."

4. Confirm the outline or sequence of your book.


Sample Outline or Sequence

Chapter 1. Childhood.
(parents, siblings, location/homes, toys, events I remember...) ________________

Chapter 2. School.
(where, favorite subjects, events I remember, friends, achievements..) ____________

Chapter 3. Transition to Adulthood.
(college, girl/boyfriend, military service, jobs...) ______________

Chapter 4. Choices I made.
(jobs, wife/husband, events that forced me to make changes...) _______________

Chapter 5. Factors in my adult life:
(career, children, historical events, ...) _______________

Chapter 6. Retirement
(when, why, activities...) ______________________________

Chapter 7. My legacy to others and myself.
(things you're most proud of, difficulties overcome...) ___________

Appendices.
(genealogy, newspaper clippings - anything you want included) _______________


5. Assign/arrange your writings to one of the chapters.

If a writing doesn't fit in the outline, then:

A. Redo the outline. or
B. Rewrite the entry so that it clearly fits into a category/chapter.

6. Continue the re-reading, editing/re-writing until you like your Memoirs.

7. Select book size, design cover, plan beginning pages:

Design a cover,
Dedication (if you want one), and/or "Reason I Wrote Memoirs"
Table of Contents - Chapter titles, (see sample outline in box above)

8. Design pages (font type/ size, margin, position of photo, paper –cover, interior)

9. Plan layout of book (what page faces what page, first/last pages, Chapter Headings/subheadings.)

10. Print this final version of your Memoirs and bind it:

A. Select paper. Standard 20# is ok for single side but back-to-back print needs heavier paper.

B. Select Binding from printer’s options:

1. Perfect binding - glued spine .
2. Saddle-stitched. staple on the "saddle" or folded middle.
3. Comb binding, (pages punched to fit plastic comb binding)
4. Spiral binding –plastic or wire. (printer has machines that punch paper)
5. Your ideas?

C. Bindings you can do by yourself:

1. Three-ring binder,
2. Fastener (2-prongs) or folder with prong binder,
3. Ribbon looped through punches holes.
4. Scrapbook covers or unique container


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