Few things beat a gripping memoir that pulls in the reader and tells a fascinating story.
However, it can be hard to come up with ideas for a memoir or to think about what to include.
This guide will walk you through some memoir ideas so you can beat past writer's block and start to tell your stories.
What Are The Main Parts of A Memoir?
While a lot of memoirs are completely different, there are often common threads that bring them together.
Some things include:
- Emotional vulnerability. We read a memoir to understand someone's perspective and what they went through. If you're closed off and not sharing your truth, people won't want to read it.
- A theme that goes through the book. There's usually some kind of underlying theme that ties the whole memoir together.
- Comedy mixed in with heavy content. This isn't always the case, but if you can find ways to tie in funny stories along with your heavy stories, it can create a wonderful reading experience.
Ready to get started on your memoir? Let's go over some quick and easy ideas for you so you don't forget a thing.
#1 – Tell a story about a trip you took that changed your life. Whether it was the people you met or the place you went, travel can bring so much to someone's life.
#2 – What were some of the key romantic relationships in your life? Whether they lasted a long time or a short time, there are probably some that played an impact.
#3 – If you've been through a divorce, you can talk about that experience. Or maybe the divorce of someone close to you.
#4 – How did school play a role in your life?
#5 – Outside of school, what do you continue to learn about or pursue as a passion?
#6 – Did you ever have a pet that left a lasting memory? Can you use nostalgic writing to tell a moving or inspiring story?
#7 – How has the health, or the health of the people in your life, changed your life? Did anyone have a serious health issue you had to help with?
#8 – Death is a hard thing to go through. Talk about the passing of someone who heavily impacted your life.
#9 – Did you ever see a movie that changed your life? Or is one you'll never forget?
#10 – Are you a parent? How has it changed you as a person?
#11 – In relation to the above, you could also write about your own parents. What it was like to live with them, where you grew up, what they taught you?
#12 – What book had the biggest impact on your life overall?
#13 – When were you the most afraid in your life? What did you learn from that time?
#14 – Do you have any notable people in your family or bloodline? Where did your family originate from and how do you feel about your culture?
#15 – What is a family tradition you love? What is one you despise? What kind of traditions do you want to pass on?
#16 – Who do you wish you could forget you ever met in your life?
#17 – What is a day in your life you'd like to live over and over?
#18 – Do you have a hobby that has been a major theme in your life or brings you a new perspective?
#19 – Talk about religion and spirituality in your life. How has it shaped your life and worldview?
#20 – Was anyone in your family in the military?
#21 – Write about the most interesting person you've ever met? What makes them that way? Have they changed how you think about life?
#22 – Who inspired your life the most?
#23 – What is your strongest belief? What makes it so strong?
#24 – What was the hardest lesson for you to ever learn? What made it that way?
#25 – What is something that makes you emotional to talk about?
#26 – What have you learned about yourself?
#27 – How do you like to make the people around you feel?
#28 – What kind of people do you like to surround yourself with?
#29 – Write about your favorite season or your favorite memory from a season.
#30 – What would you want your kids to know most about who you are and your life?
#31 – What was the most memorable food in your life? Food plays such an interesting role in families and communities.
#32 – Did you have a childhood toy you'll never forget?
#33 – What was the worst day of your life?
#34 – What do you wish the whole world understood?
#35 – What do you still hope to accomplish with your life?
#36 – How would you summarize your life into one word?
#37 – If you could only tell one story in your life, which one would it be?
#38 – Did you ever take drastic action to change your life? Maybe you got a health diagnosis or maybe you decided to finally pursue that passion project.
#39 – What was the biggest risk you've ever taken?
#40 – What are you the most proud of doing?
#41 – What place in the world do you love the most? Or had the biggest impact on you? Do you wish you lived somewhere else or could go back to a place?
#42 – What still makes you upset to think about?
#43 – What is your greatest weakness?
#44 – What is your greatest strength?
#45 – Write about your biggest success and your biggest failure.
#46 – What birthday celebration will you never forget?
#47 – What was the most dangerous situation you lived through and came out the other side?
#48 – What fictional character played the greatest role you have ever seen?
#49 – Who is your favorite family member, and why?
#50 – Talk about your siblings, if you have some.
#51 – What is the most memorable gift you've ever received?
#52 – Talk about a time you had to change your mind about something.
#53 – What bothers you the most?
#54 – Talk about your biggest faults and mistakes you've made in your life.
#55 – What teacher or mentor played a key role in your life?
#56 – Who did you lose touch with that you regret doing so?
#57 – Write about your happiest memory.
#58 – Were you into music growing up? Talk about a live music event you saw you remember most.
#59 – What was the most memorable thing you did for someone else? Did they know you did it?
#60 – Has a historical event shaken up your life? Maybe war altered your entire family plans or where they could live.
#61 – Did money play a huge part in your life, your stress, your family, and so on? Money can be a loaded topic, but it can play a much bigger part than people think.
#62 – What friends were in your life that you'll never forget? Are they still in your life? Is there someone you wish still was?
#63 – Have you ever seen a piece of art that moved you?
#64 – Have you ever had an exciting experience in nature? Do you wish you had a greater connection to nature or are you happier out of nature?
#65 – Did you have an important or life altering job? Whether it was for the better or for the worse, talk about it and your experience. What did you learn?
#66 – Were you involved in sports growing up? How did it play an impact on your life?