The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-standardized Text For Writing & Life by Marion Roach SmithThe Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-standardized Text For Writing & Life by Marion Roach Smith

The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-standardized Text For Writing & Life

byMarion Roach Smith

Paperback | June 9, 2011

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A recent study revealed that the Number 1 thing that baby boomers want to do in retirement is write a book....about themselves. It's not that every person has lived such a unique or dramatic life, but we inherently understand that writing memoir-whether it's a book, blog, or just a letter to a child-is the single greatest portal to self-examination.

While there have been other writing books, there's been nothing like Marion Roach Smith'sTHE MEMOIR PROJECT.<_st13a_city _w3a_st="on"><_st13a_place _w3a_st="on">Marionhas written four books and she's been teaching a sold-out memoir writing class for 13 years. Her new book is a disarmingly frank, but wildly fun, distillation of all the unsentimental lessons that WORK. Tired topics like writing exercises, morning pages and "writer's block" are replaced with quirky, provocative tactics that teach you to write with purpose.

Previously self-published in April 2010 (under the titleWriting What You Know: Realia), the book has already proven hugely popular, and with its new title and updated content, it is sure to find an even bigger and even more enthusiastic audience.
Marion Roach Smith, co-founder of, has taught a sold-out class called "Writing What You Know" since 1998. She is the author ofThe Roots of Desire: The Myth, Meaning and Sexual Power of Red Hair(Bloomsbury, 2005); co-author with Michael Baden, M.D., ofDead Reckoning(Simon and Schuster, 2001); and author ofAnother Na...
Title:The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-standardized Text For Writing & LifeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:128 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.5 inPublished:June 9, 2011Publisher:Grand Central PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0446584843

ISBN - 13:9780446584845

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome advice and author voice I'm actually not a memoir writer, but I still found reading this book to be so worthwhile. I'm a poet, lyricist and English teacher whose writing philosophy is summed up in 'write what you know' and I found that Marion gave so many useful pointers. By useful, I mean totally practical and applicable to my very personal poetry and song lyrics. Her writing style is engaging and she has a good balance of memorable story telling and no-nonsense advice. I absolutely loved it- I'm actually planning on re-reading it, pen in hand, with sticky tabs to mark my favourite parts! This would make a great starting point for any aspiring writer interested in writing about themselves via ANY medium, and if I ever get to teach a writer's craft course, this will definitely go on the 'required reading' list.
Date published: 2013-11-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Helpful This is an interesting approach to teaching memoir writing. The author gives examples from her own life of the application of her theory to decide on a theme and then show it through an anecdote or series of anecdotes. Otherwise your life is too big to capture and you end up just rambling with no point. She also explained that a memoir differs from an autobiography which is more of a chronological record of one's life. It was helpful.
Date published: 2012-01-04

Editorial Reviews

Smith (The Roots of Desire, 2006, etc.) helps kick-start the writing process.Everybody has a story to tell. Some people dream of putting their stories in a book while others want to blog, write letters or record family history. Smith, who is also a workshop teacher, gives the honest nuts and bolts of memoir writing. She does not use standard and stale exercises or prompts to fill the pages of this slim volume, but rather a blend of anecdotes and unusual tips to help would-be writers "vomit up a draft." What makes this guide stand out from the rest is its complete lack of academic posturing. Smith does not constantly drop famous names or drone on about Paris. Instead, the author uses real, plainspoken examples from her life and writing, such as the memorable story of her mother's struggle with Alzheimer's. Seasoned writers should proceed with caution: Anyone who has taken Composition 101 will have heard much of this advice before, such as "write what you know" and "show, don't tell." But readers looking for a push in the right direction will find Smith's instructions highly accessible and inspiring. Her first-person narrative style is breezy and friendly, and the beginning lays out the three overarching rules for memoir writing. Chapters have catchy subtitles, with easy-to-understand examples, from how to choose a subject to style to editing. Other advice includes a list of go-to reference materials and how to navigate writing about sex.Spare but practical resource for beginners--a good reference for library programs or community workshops.-Kirkus Reviews