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Kick start your memoir – writing exercises

Building your confidence and igniting your memory enabling you to start writing a memoir with these writing exercises
Dale Darley
5,944 students enrolled
English [Auto-generated]
Unlock hidden memories
Ignite your passion for writing
Kick start your memoir
Discover which slice of life you want to write about
Be ready to plan and write your memoir

How to turn your life into story

Writing about your life is a way to make sense of your life, it helps you to heal and it is an amazing way to leave behind a legacy – your legacy.

Memoir lets you share your stories, in a way that lets others see what you went through (good or not so good), shows who you are and says 'maybe I can help you, maybe you can learn from me."

That feels good doesn't it?

To get you started I have some great memoir writing exercises.  Once you start to pull all of these together you will be on your way to your first memoir.

This course writing exercises for writing a memoir delivers:


  • Ten chapters of your life
  • Lots of writing exercises to kick start your memory and your writing
  • A workbook with all of the exercises in

Start your trip down memory land today.

Take this ultimate Writing Exercises course right now and start writing a memoir.


Before you start

Meet Dale and find out about this course

In this lecture, you meet your instructor - Dale

Dale is a writer, coach and author. Her aim is to teach you how to kickstart your memoir by going through a set of wonderful writing exercises.

Once you have done this and flexed those writing muscles you will be ready to start writing your memoir.

How to get the most out of this course

Familiarise yourself with the Udemy system for delivering course content and look through the lectures so that you know what is coming and how you will use your course.

We are all different, some people like to learn the course by starting at the beginning, whilst others like to skim through and watch random lectures.

Work out what works for you. Ask questions and have fun.

Before you start to write

Before we begin

Having the right tools and resources makes it easier to get started and stay on track.  Your writers’ rucksack contains a set of useful ways of working, gadgets and devices that will enable you to make your writing life easier. 

My life workbook

The workbook that goes with this course

Chapters of your life


Your timeline

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. Marcel Proust

Stuffed away in the time capsule of your mind are millions of memories.  They are locked away in folders with little tags on that say been there done that, no longer interesting.  It is only when you pull out the folders and scatter the papers on the floor can you see connections.  Scribbled on the sepia tinted parchments of time are your stories. As you put these into categories and re-file them away in different order a new map of your life will emerge.

Timelines provide a visual roadmap, which give you the big picture in the form of a map.  Clarity will come because the human mind sees things in patterns.  When you see patterns you make connections. 

Chapter 1 - who am I?

A little bit about you

In chapter one of your life, we start to explore who you are.  These exercises help to set the scene for your memoir,

  • Who are you?
  • What is your story?
  • Why are you writing your memoir?
  • What is the most important thing you want to discover?
  • What are the life experiences that make you who you are?
  • If you were to view your life from an outsider's point of view, what would you know about your life?

Chapter 2 - my family and other strange animals

My family and other strange animals

In my family we start to explore the other people in your life.  These exercises include a range of questions that you can use to interview family members.

Chapter 3 - my earliest memories

Earliest memories

In exploring our earliest memories we can start to uncover some of the things that place us where we are today.  Many people find early memories hard to recall.  So we are looking at trying to locate these and adding a sensory richness to the events.

Chapter 4 - School days

School days

We spend many years at school and school can evoke many things.  In these writing exercises we are trying to remember things like first days, best friends, last days, favourite teacher.

Chapter 5 - My neighbourhood

My neighbourhood

In this exercise you are looking at being creative and pulling together a multitude of things onto a map storyboard to represent your neighbourhood, which my reach out as far as the universe.  From here it is about connecting things and taking a journey between two unseemingly unconnected things.

Chapter 6 - Falling in and out of love

Falling in and out of love

We don’t only fall in and out of love with boyfriends and girlfriends, we do the same for all kinds of people and things.

Who are those people who have had the most impact on us through love?

How you like to show your love to others, what kinds of things others do that make you feel loved, and how you know when someone cares about you.

What does it mean to love yourself as you are? How does loving and accepting yourself affect your ability to love and accept others?

Who do you now love that you once hated and vice versa?  What memories do you have of those turning points?

Chapter 7 - if only

If only

One of the most difficult things for many people to do is to look back and take stock of all those things they could, should or would have done differently. Regret is pointless, this is all in the past, however as a memoir exercise it is a good way to look at how our journey has progressed and how these may have been turning points.

What are those turning points?

Looking back are you actually glad you didn’t….?

Chapter 8 - Sex, drugs and rock and roll

Sex, drugs and rock and roll

You may be writing your memoir so that future generations will be able to delight in your life and times. However, not all stories are tea and sandwiches on the lawn, some have been abusive, deadly and filled with fear. Others angry, violent, the victim turned renegade. Exploring the dark stuff can be emotional and cathartic and it could also the ingredients that makes your memoir into a page turning feast.

These are sometimes the harder things to write about and often the things that we really want to get out there.  We are fearful of being judged.  It is however, important to remember that who you were is not who you are and these are just stories that form part of your journey and go to make you who you ware.  Also these may be the areas of conflict and emotion in your memoir and are where your turning points are.  You do not have to disclose everything, but they are significant signposts never the less.

Chapter 9 - Highs and lows

Highs and lows

Ups and downs, highs and lows, good times and bad times, it’s all part of life. Life is about contrast and everyone has highs and lows. Memoirs take us on a journey up to a crisis or a conflict and onto a resolution.  It is about comparing and contrasting the situations that you find yourself in.  It’s called experience.

An example may be of being depressed, which is a debilitating time for many.  It’s a big low, followed by a turning point and a journey back to life’s highs and more happier times.

If someone were to ask you what your most important life lessons have been, what would you say? And why? What was the high point and what was the low point?

Chapter 10 - Changing points

Changing points

At the end of every book or story is the thing that changed or the moral of the story.

Thinking of your life story, your memoir, what was the challenge that you faced, what choices did you make and what was the outcome?

What is the moral of your story?  What is the key message you want your reader to leave with? What is the lesson that you learnt?  What do you want your reader to know or do as a result of reading your memoir?

What next?

Roughing out your chapters

What are your next steps?

Create an outline and think about writing your book... The handout is for a non-fiction book and will give you some food for thought.


Connect with Dale

You can book a complimentary session with Dale by following this link https://daledarley.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?appointmentType=category:Getting+to+know+you

Other courses

https://www.daledarley.com to find out more about how I can support you

Use coupon code OWR010 to access any of my courses for a special price as a thank you for being a student.

Links to other Udemy courses which will support your writers journey.

  • Plan your non-fiction book in a weekend
  • Blog your book in 30 days
  • Writing your life story
  • Kick-start your memoir - writing exercises


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