Want to write a memoir but not sure how to get started? I've got you covered. In this post, I'm sharing my ten best creative writing prompts for memoir writers.
If you need a quick prompt, check out my five favorite memoir writing prompts below. Or, keep reading for an expanded list of all ten prompts.
My 5 Favorite Memoir Writing Prompts
- Write about a life or death situation you've experienced.
- Describe your own meet cute. Think back to the first time you met the love of your life.
- You've traveled through time and encounter a younger version of yourself. What life lesson would you share?
- What is one moment where you were afraid to do something but did it anyway?
- Write about one encounter with death.
- Read on for more!
Use These Memoir Writing Prompts to Get Started
Ready to write a book about your life? Get started by using these prompts. Then tell us which prompt you chose and share up to 250 words of your writing in the practice link below.
2. Area of Expertise
Make a list of every area of expertise you have, e.g. writing, playing an instrument, the history of 18th century French history, etc. Then choose one of those areas of expertise and write for fifteen minutes about what you've learned about that expertise. Begin every paragraph with the phrase, “I learned . . .”
3. Meet Cute
Describe your own meet cute. Think back to the first time you met the love of your life. Describe the situation and how you felt the first time you saw them.
Share the story of one time you were betrayed.
Have you ever encountered death? Either the death of a loved one, animal, or stranger? Write about your encounter with death and how you experienced it.
What is the biggest adventure you've ever experienced? Write about it.
7. Life Lesson
You've traveled through time and encounter a younger version of yourself (choose one of the following ages: seven, fifteen, seventeen, twenty-three, or thirty-one). What life lesson would you share with yourself? Tell yourself the story of how you learned that lesson.
Describe your surroundings right now. What memories do your surroundings evoke?
9. Life or Death
Write about a life or death situation you've experienced.
10. Too Much Good
Think of one moment in your life when you had to choose between two very good things, like love or money, fun or responsibility, happiness or duty. Then write about it.
Become a Better Memoir Writer by Reading a Great Memoir
One of the best ways to learn how to write a memoir is to read memoirs. And it just so happens that I've written a memoir, Crowdsourcing Paris, about a real-life adventure story I experienced in Paris. Even better, according to reviewers, it's really good!
Inside the memoir are the adventures I experienced in Paris, including my near-death experience in the catacombs, the illegal 170 miles of tunnels below the City of Light.
Throughout the memoir, I also share my writing lessons as I learn to become a writer in Paris.
Which of these memoir writing prompts is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
Choose one of the memoir writing prompts above. Then set a timer for fifteen minutes, and write as much as you can.
And if you post, please be sure to give feedback to at least three other writers.