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5 Reasons To Write Your Memoir Now

Written by: Alice Sullivan, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Alice Sullivan

Some tasks in life–like fixing a leaky roof or getting that cavity filled–carry a natural sense of urgency. Address the problem now, or you’ll be sorry. But writing your memoir? Most people don’t feel pressured to write down their life stories because they assume they will always have time later. It continues to move down the priority list until it’s languishing with the other tasks you’ve been putting off for years, like cleaning out your hallway closet or organizing your filing cabinet.


A photo of pen and white pad.

It’s true that writing a memoir can be scary and emotional at times. My clients frequently delve into the past, connecting the dots of their experiences to uncover lessons learned, to forge stronger convictions and bonds, or to discover softened and expanded perspectives. In memoir especially, stories run the gamut from the highest highs to the lowest lows, before leveling out into a new normal–the author’s current life. It’s a cathartic experience that feels, to some, like a kind of therapy. And there’s a palpable sense of pride–and relief–toward the end of the process when an author realizes what they’ve accomplished.


The longer I’ve worked as a ghostwriter, the more I’ve realized that telling your own life story is one of the most transformative and worthwhile uses of your time. Memoirs pay dividends–both figuratively and literally. My clients who take the leap only wish they’d started the process sooner. So, here are a few reasons to write your memoir now.


Having a published book of your own can:


1. Create new income streams


When I hear clients fret about the cost, either in time or money, of writing their memoir, I urge them to also consider the cost of not writing their story. Having a published book often helps my clients increase their visibility and expand their platform, allowing them to generate several new income streams. They enjoy not just the sales of the book itself, but also enhanced opportunities for speaking, teaching, coaching, and being seen as a thought leader through podcast interviews.


2. Increase your networking opportunities


In addition to missing out on income streams, waiting to write your memoir may cost you new connections. Books are an excellent way to market yourself, build your brand, and boost your networking potential. Having a book you can present to a potential client or connection at a conference lends you instant credibility, and it guarantees that the person you meet will remember you.


3. Give you clarity while helping to process trauma


One of my favorite parts of being a ghostwriter is helping my clients discover their “aha!” moments. The process of talking through their memories out loud helps them process and find meaning in the events of their lives, and my clients typically walk away with new insights about themselves and their families. Writing about your life can give you a new sense of power or peace regarding difficult and traumatic situations.


4. Share your history to safeguard family stories for the next generation


Writing a memoir is one of the best gifts you can give to your family and community. Many times, when a client finishes their book, their family members are surprised at how many of the stories are new to them. It’s easy to assume that your siblings, parents, or children have heard all your important family tales and anecdotes, but many times, they haven’t. Giving them a physical copy of these memories ensures that priceless family stories are preserved.


In more than twenty years of writing, I’ve had two clients pass away during our work together, one (in his early 50s) from a heart attack and one (in his mid-70s) from a long battle with cancer. Both were writing legacy memoirs. Surprisingly, neither man had told his family about the project. They’d both intended to give the books as a surprise to their families once completed. I was able to contact both families and send them the audio files and documents in process. But these stories are proof that we simply don’t know how much time we have.


5. Help you fulfill your dream or goal of writing a book and being a published author


“People have been telling me to write a book for years.”

“I know I am supposed to write my story. I just don’t know where to begin.”

“I want to record all our great family stories before I forget.”


If any of these statements resonate with you, there’s no time like the present to get started. Even if you never formally publish a book, I encourage you to at least write the stories down or record yourself sharing your life lessons so that you can make progress and others can benefit from what you have to say.


Your story matters! And the sooner you start the process, the sooner you’ll be holding your finished book in your hands.


Follow me on LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

Alice Sullivan Brainz Magazine
 

Alice Sullivan, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Alice Sullivan is an award-winning ghostwriter, collaborator, and 11-time New York Times bestselling editor. A natural-born storyteller, she’s written 60 books and edited over 1,300 titles. She specializes in nonfiction—specifically memoir, self-help, and personal growth. She helps clients identify their goals and messages while creating engaging content to connect with their target markets. Her favorite projects are those that challenge her point of view and expand her knowledge.

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