National Life Writing Month

November is a month that is certainly busy for writers. Not only is it National Novel Writing Month, but it’s also National Life Writing Month. What’s the difference between these two observances? Well, we’re glad that you asked. The former encourages writers to write a novel during this month.

The latter encourages writers to write a memoir during this month. Yes, this is a month during which writers (both amateur and professional) take the time to write about their own lives.

And we mean every part of their lives, including not only the joy, love, and inspiration that can be found in their lives but also the pain, heartache, and uncertainty. It’s not only cathartic but may also become the next best-selling memoir.

The History of National Life Writing Month

We’re not really sure when this month was created or who created it. We believe that it was created after National Novel Writing Month — an observance that was invented in 1999, but we’re currently unsure of that fact.

Tips for Writing a Memoir

Many writers (or potential writers) may be good at writing a variety of different types of literature but aren’t really sure how to write a memoir. That’s okay.

Writing a memoir is definitely something that can be learned, so let’s go over some tips that will help all of the writers reading this article today get on with the writing of their personal memoirs. Below are some tips that we’d like to share and that should make writing a memoir easier and more engaging for the reader.

  • Tip One: Hook the reader from the start.
  • Tip Two: Bring emotions out in the reader.
  • Tip Three: Open with a dramatic moment.
  • Tip Four: Don’t forget to pepper the story with humor, particularly if it’s a dour story.
  • Tip Five: Use the structure of a novel to keep the reader engaged throughout.
  • Tip Six: Build trust with the reader and don’t throw that trust away with cheap plot devices.
  • Tip Seven: Memoirs focus on a particular event or period in a person’s life. It’s not an autobiography.
  • Tip Eight: Bring the reader into your story and write for them.
  • Tip Nine: Be honest. Self-censoring or adding false elements to the story is a bad idea.
  • Tip Ten: Write the ending of the memoir first.

Observing National Life Writing Month

This is the month for people to write about their life. It’s up to them whether this memoir is something they’re going to keep to themselves, share with other family members, or publish. During this month, people can let other writers know of their progress using the hashtag #NationalLifeWritingMonth on social media.

When is it?
This year (2024)
November 1 Friday
Next year (2025)
November 1 Saturday
Last year (2023)
November 1 Wednesday
Activity & Action, Lifestyle