Writing about yourself and your memories can be hard, especially if you have endured traumatic events in your life.
I speak from experience when I say this, so I know this to be true. I’ve been raped, I’ve contemplated suicide on numerous occasions, and I nearly died. Fortunately, I’m still here, reaping many benefits of some of the decisions I’ve made, which include making money from writing.
I’ve had a short story included in an anthology, I’ve won a short story contest, and my book of short stories is going to be available soon!
I’m also still working on my two books; my memoirs, and Letters to Julian. Because of this, when I was recently contacted by Laura Hedgecock and asked to write a review of her new book, Memories of Me: A Complete Guide to Telling and Sharing the Stories of Your Life, I was intrigued, and I agreed to writing a review of this book in exchange for a free copy of it.
According to Laura Hedgecock:
Memories of Me taps into the passion of connecting with loved ones through memory narratives. It empowers hobbyists to create a legacy of family stories and memory episodes through prompts, in-depth brainstorming exercises, writing samples, and just enough writing tips for writers to take pride in their projects.
I also agreed to participate in a blog tour. To see the other participants of this blog hop, check out the Memories of Me official tour post, beginning with this spotlight and this review.
Update: This review was given by another person, who, apparently, reviews books on a regular basis.
Memories of Me: A Complete Guide to Telling and Sharing the Stories of Your Life contains a lot of information, brainstorming and other exercises, and encouraging words to help YOU put into perspective your memories, thoughts and experiences so that YOU can write and catalogue your life stories.
Memories of Me uses Laura’s own experiences to show you how to implement the strategies she sets forth. For example, when writing a Christmas letter, Laura gives you specific things to include in it and then shows you how to incorporate all of them by writing a letter of her own. This practice is demonstrated throughout the book, which allows you to get to know her (and, by extension, her family) better while learning how to enhance your writing.
In this guide, worksheets are interspersed with writing tips and exercises and personal stories are shared. My favourite worksheet was the Brainstorming Lessons Learned worksheet, as it prompted me to think about and recall many things that I thought I had forgotten! This particular worksheet involves completing sentences such as “How I learned _____,” with the blank filled in with a specific action or attribute. Laura’s prompts are simply amazing.
From childhood to animals to school days to grandparents to friendships to relatives to religion to regret to conversations from the past to difficult times, Laura guides you, letting you be the decision-maker as she helps you remember and write. She also assists you with things pertaining to the art of writing, such as finding your voice, preserving your language, editing your words, and expressing yourself using humour.
Memories of Me: A Complete Guide to Telling and Sharing the Stories of Your Life is a true treasure chest of goodness you will benefit from and love!
My Personal Recommendation
Obviously, as someone who is writing her own memoirs (as well as a book titled Letters to Julian), I would not recommend Memories of Me: A Complete Guide to Telling and Sharing the Stories of Your Life unless I found it to be useful.
I also plan on using some of the exercises and worksheets as I struggle with my book of memoirs (and dealing with some of my own demons)!
Memories of Me: A Complete Guide to Telling and Sharing the Stories of Your Life is now available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books & Things. You can also buy it from The Marketplace. I’ll leave it up to you to find out where you can get it at the lowest price. 😉
A Free Option
For those of you wanting guidance via a free option, I would recommend using Sue Mitchell’s memoir starter kit, which I also have.
Laura Hedgecock is a Michigan-based freelance writer who attended the University of South Carolina. She is the mother of two (three if you count the dog!) and is the author of Memories of Me: A Complete Guide to Telling and Sharing the Stories of Your Life.
You can connect with Laura via Twitter or Google+, visit her site, Treasure Chest of Memories, and/or read her personal blog, Memories in the Wind.