How to Write a Memoir: List of Books About Writing Memoirs

This is a list of books about the art of writing memoirs. If you are an aspiring writer who is dreaming of making it as a memoirist, these are books you should check out. These important books offer everything you need to know about writing a memoir. For sure, you are going to encounter tips and advice that seem to counter each other. That's expected because we are dealing with the ideas of various authors here. The trick is to find the tips that work well for you. It takes time for these helpful tips to present themselves to you but you are going to identify them eventually. 

Why We Write About Ourselves: Twenty Memoirists on Why They Expose Themselves (and Others) in the Name of Literature
Edited by Meredith Maran

This easy-to-read book offers advice from not one but twenty well-known memoirists. The book follows a simple structure. The author is introduced, his/her most important works are listed, he/she then talks about his/her trade, and lastly, he/she leaves behind his/her most important tips for the reader. The memoirists represented in this important book re Ishamel Beah, Kelly Corrigan, Edwidge Danticat, Dani Shapiro, Pearl Cleage, Anne Lamott, Nick Flynn, Ayelet Waldman, Sue Monk Kidd, Meghan Daum, Kate Christensen, Pat Conroy, David Sheff, James McBride, Jesmyn Ward, Darin Strauss, Cheryl Strayed, A.M. Homes, Edmund White, and Sandra Tsing Loh.

Sample tips from the book:

Jesmyn Ward: "You get the most powerful material when you write toward whatever hurts. Don't avoid it. Don't run from it. Don't write toward what's easy. We recognize our humanity in those most difficult moments that people share."

Anne Lamott: "Don't wait for inspiration. Point your finger at your head and march yourself to your desk. It's a great dream to do something that connects us with antiquity and with last week's news. So don't be a big whiny baby. Woman up and write."

Kelly Corrigan: "Write every day. Even if all you do is tweak a few lines, change the fonts, move the margins - anything to put you in the chair, in the headspace, in the zone. There's tremendous value in keeping the story and the themes in your subconscious mind."

The Art of the Memoir by Mary Karr
Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir by Sue William Silverman
Old Friend From Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir by Natalie Goldberg