Hiring A Memoir Writing Coach

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memoir writing coach

Finding the right person can be a real challenge, regardless of the job. This applies to mechanics, contractors, and a memoir writing coach. The right fit matters a lot. 

I live in an old house. For the last ten years, in my basement, I’ve had an old bathroom and utility room. They’re next door to my office and for a very long time I have wanted to renovate them. 

It wasn’t until I found the right person for the job that I ended up going through with it. 

Many of the projects we undertake require us to look outside of our own skills and abilities to accomplish them. We all want to work with the right people. It’s quite natural, I think, to build partnerships more based on the feel of being around a person than their so-called expertise.

Although this notion has been around for a long time, I don’t think this is old fashioned thinking. This isn’t quaint. We need to feel a rapport with the person we’re entrusting with our work.

What Does A Memoir Writing Coach Do?

When it comes to writing, whether the project is a feature length screenplay or a novel, you want the writer you choose to understand you. You want them to really get what you’re looking for.

When it comes to a memoir writing coach, the need is similar. 

Think of a memoir writing coach like a consultant. You’re hiring a high level professional to help direct you to the finish. We take your memoir in whatever its current form, whether that means a finished first draft or still in scattered notes, and develop that idea into a publishable manuscript. We help you find new directions when you feel stuck. A writing good coach digs into the memoir’s core story and character conflicts and helps you come up with ways to improve them.

What Are The Three Keys?

What goes into making that kind of professional, creative relationship work? When I work with an editor or consultant, I look at three things:

  1. The ability to listen. A memoir writing coach needs to understand what you’re looking for out of your book. Are you looking to break in with a traditional publisher? Or is the intended audience family and friends? To understand that, they need to be a receptive listener.
  2. An expertise in storytelling. All the listening in the world isn’t going to matter unless that person is able to transform the product on the page.
  3. The ability to communicate solutions. In my mind, this is the most important element of all. The best memoir writing coach will understand what you’re looking for, apply their expertise to your work, and then come back with a creative solution. 

By now what I’m describing should be clear. I’m talking about rapport. I’ve worked with some fantastically talented editors and coaches. The ones I go back to, however, are the ones that understand me. They understand my work and where I want to take it.

Ask Your Memoir Writing Coach For A Sample

If you’re in the market for a memoir writing coach then take this bit of advice. Interview a few before making your final decision. Pay attention to how well they listen to you. Ask about their work enough that you get a sense of their story expertise. These are keys.

As a last important step, I recommend requesting a sample consultation. Ask some of your final choices to look at a chapter before hiring them. A sample edit, while imperfect, affords you the chance to receive their feedback. If you can take their feedback and constructive criticism and feel energized then you have the right person on your team.  

I hope this blog addressed some of your questions about hiring a memoir writing coach. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. 

memoir writing promptsHave you always wanted to write your life story? Do you ever sit down to write but find you get lost? Do you struggle to get the story down the right way? If you answered yes to either of these questions, memoir ghostwriting may be the best solution for you. 

I believe every one of us has a book in us. If you’re trying to write a memoir, or considering it, now is a great time (actually, it may be the best time). I have written a book, Memoir Writing: The Nine Things You Need To Know to help you get off the ground. 

Don’t wait. Get your free eBook Memoir Writing: The Nine Things You Need To Know by clicking here to download today.

I created this volume to be a short and easy to read. The goal is to help you understand everything you need to know, from getting started to all the reasons why now is a great time to write a book.

Contact For Ghostwriter Services

erick mertz, ghostwriting services, screenplay ghostwritersIf you are serious about hiring a professional ghostwriter for your book, screenplay, or non-fiction story, or you need help with editing or self-publishing your manuscript, please contact me via email, or call.

Every new contact receives a free 30-minute 1:1 consultation about their ghostwriting project or manuscript consultation.

Additionally, I offer all independent and self-publishing authors a 10% discount on my already affordable services.

Erick MertzHiring A Memoir Writing Coach
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Memoir Writing Prompts

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memoir writing prompts, erick mertzAre you stuck in your writing? Have you started writing your memoir but now find you aren’t exactly sure how to get the best version of your story out on the page? This is a place familiar to many writers and a reason why memoir writing prompts can be such useful tools.

A memoir isn’t just a whimsical collection of anecdotes from a person’s life. If you want to reach your potential readers then you need to affect them in profound ways.

You need to change how they think about their lives. 

How do successful memoir writers create memorable works? The answer is simple: they get deep. They don’t simply relay a story from the subject’s life. They reconstruct crucial moments by creating vivid, memorable scenes drawn out of memory. 

Why Use Memoir Writing Prompts?

erick mertz, memoir promptsYou’ve probably read that writing can be quite a difficult pursuit. That sentiment rings true even for the most seasoned and successful professionals. When we think about writing our own stories (those where the events take place in our lives) the process can seem deceptively easy. 

If it happened to you, it should come to us intuitively, right?

In a few rare instances, using our own lives as source material makes for easy writing. In a majority of situations however, I have found that personal connection to the source material provides more of a challenge. 

Things get in the way. Time blurs the image. Perspectives change. Trauma resonates. 

As a professional writer, I think it’s important to have a few tricks and tools up your sleeve. When I’m working with a memoir client, I use writing prompts. They provide a neutral place where we can start from.

The List Of My 31 Favorite Prompts

Memoir writing prompts help shake the memory free. Ask yourself a few of these questions to start exploring your memories and feelings about the past. These can help you take a big step forward in getting your story down.

  1. What is your earliest memory?
  2. Was there anything strange or unusual about your birth?
  3. Do you have any siblings? What are their names?
  4. Describe your home town to someone that has never been there before.
  5. Were you close with your parents?
  6. When you were young, what did your parents do for a living? 
  7. What do you remember about your parent’s relationship? Were they together? 
  8. What is your happiest childhood memory?
  9. Did you have pets growing up? 
  10. What did you remember wanting to be when you grew up?
  11. Who were your childhood heroes?
  12. What was your early relationship to religion? Has that relationship changed over the years?
  13. Who was your best friend growing up? Tell the story of how you became friends?
  14. Describe your grade school experience.
  15. What social groups did you fit into while you were in school?
  16. What was your favorite subject while in school?
  17. Describe your first “crush”.
  18. What were your adolescent challenges?
  19. Who was your first love? 
  20. When did you finally leave your parent’s home?
  21. Have you had the opportunity to travel?
  22. What was your first paying job? What do you remember most about it?
  23. How did you spend your money as a kid? 
  24. Looking back, what “normal” thing now seems a little messed up?
  25. Do you have children of your own? 
  26. Talk about a time you felt alone. Talk about a time you felt particularly loved. 
  27. Do you have a “lost love”? If so, talk about your relationship and what caused you to separate.
  28. What has been the greatest challenge in your life so far?
  29. Talk about a person from your past, alive or dead, that you would love to see again.
  30. What is unique about your family? 
  31. What is something you learned later in life that you wish you knew as a young person?

Those are just a few of many! There are so many more prompts you could use to get started. If your personal exploration leads you to new memoir writing prompts, start building your own list. 

Memoir Writing Prompts: What Now?

Writing prompts are a great way to get your next session started. If you’re writing a memoir, and you find yourself stuck with where to go, pick one of these prompts and start writing out the answer.  

Choose whichever question you think will get you started. If you’re working on a memoir about your childhood, it may help to do some exploratory writing about early heroes. Even if your memoir isn’t about your heroes, the act of thinking creatively in those terms will almost certainly move your process along.

Remember that there is no right way to answer these prompts. You’re not necessarily writing for your memoir. The writing you do here is more like thinking on the page, or journaling, an exercise that gets your process started.

Writing memoir is all about exploring the past in a creative way. Memory can be very tricky. Look at your story in a unique light by using these prompts to bring it to the surface. 

I hope this blog addressed some of your needs with these memoir writing prompts. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. 

erick mertz, memoir writing promptsHave you always wanted to write your life story? Do you ever sit down to write but find you get lost? Do you struggle to get the story down the right way? If you answered yes to either of these questions, memoir ghostwriting may be the best solution for you. 

I believe every one of us has a book in us. If you’re trying to write a memoir, or considering it, now is a great time (actually, it may be the best time). I have written a book, Memoir Writing: The Nine Things You Need To Know to help you get off the ground. 

Don’t wait. Get your free eBook Memoir Writing: The Nine Things You Need To Know by clicking here to download today.

I created this volume to be short and easy to read. The goal is to help you understand everything you need to know, from getting started to all the reasons why now is a great time to write a book.

Contact For Ghostwriter Services

erick mertz, ghostwriting services, screenplay ghostwritersIf you are serious about hiring a professional ghostwriter for your book, screenplay, or non-fiction story, or you need help with editing or self-publishing your manuscript, please contact me via email, or call.

Every new contact receives a free 30-minute 1:1 consultation about their ghostwriting project or manuscript consultation.

Additionally, I offer all independent and self-publishing authors a 10% discount on my already affordable services.

Erick MertzMemoir Writing Prompts
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Case Study: How Professional Ghostwriter Services Work!

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Maybe you’re wondering how professional ghostwriter services work.

I could easily answer that question with a boring explanation, but in this blog, I thought it might be more valuable to see a successful execution of the process for yourself.

That’s why I’m offering you this case study.

professional ghostwriter services

The example I’m about to give in this successful case study involves a recent screenplay client. This is one of many examples of happy clients though, including those contracting for memoir, fiction and non-fiction.

I met this client through my website. An inquiry through a blog like the one you’re reading now is where I meet most of the people I end up working with. 

The client had a recently finished novel. His book, a swashbuckling historical science fiction story, had gained considerable traction on Amazon. Through the process of writing and publishing he had heard from a few friends and readers that his story would make a great movie.

He was also selling enough books to feel that wasn’t just hot air. 

The client and I talked over the phone. We hit it off and knew right away we would be a fit to work together.

Getting Off On The Right Foot

professional ghostwriter servicesThe client knew what he wanted. From the beginning he felt very comfortable directing me. He understood the basics, that a screenplay was the path to getting a feature film made, but he also had much more.

This client understood his genre. He was a great lover of movies. He knew he wanted a science-fiction screenplay with a positive message full of action and adventure. Something that felt like “Indiana Jones” or “Goonies”. Early on when we were talking about his story, I could see the scenes come to life because his references worked well. 

That is the basis of strong creative communication. We were speaking the same language.

When client and ghostwriter speak the same language, they can accomplish great things together. In the end, this client and I came together to make that happen. 

Strong Communication

Strong communication in business means a lot of things.

What it meant to this client and I was a constant free-flowing dialog about desires and expectations. We talked openly about what worked, and, more importantly, what did not.

Writing a screenplay takes a long time (although considerably shorter than something like a novel or memoir). The client and I spent those months in regular communication about the project. He shared with me his writing successes, including publishing the book’s sequel, and his excitement about the project.

That excitement fed my process. I felt, at all times, like I was a part of something. 

When the first screenplay draft was completed, the client was clear about what did not work. I tell every client in advance that they should feel comfortable sending things back to me that are not right.

I’m a professional screenwriter, but I can’t get everything perfect on the first draft. Because the client knew what he wanted, and was comfortable communicating, we were able to take that script to the next level.

professional ghostwriter services, erick mertzMaking A Plan… And Sticking To It

There were times that brought doubt. This is natural. The world of writing is full of doubt (and doubters).

The client had some hesitation throughout the process. There were elements of the novel he had to sacrifice (which is natural in a screenplay adaptation) and there were a few changes to the core story.

We talked back and forth — a lot. The client even had me talk to his publisher and editor about the choices I recommended. Some of those choices gained the backing of his team and ultimately his buy in. Others? Well, let’s just say, we walked away from a few conversations shaking our heads.

Ultimately, however, the client and I had built a foundation of trust. We worked out compromises on a few critical story points. We discussed movie adaptations that used creative license with the source material and ultimately decided this script would be part of a tradition bigger than itself.

The client took his script and followed the next step of his plan: he submitted it to producers and agents.

Professional Ghostwriter Services: Results Matter

About six months after the client and I finished our work, I received a phone call. I hadn’t seen that phone number come through in a while, and not knowing what I expect, I picked it up.

“Hello?”

“I have good news, Erick.”

“What’s that?”

“It’s happening. I sold the script.”

I’ve written about what happens when a client is successful. When that client and I got off the phone, I jumped for joy. I may have hollered loud enough for the neighbors to hear me.

I wasn’t happy because the client made big money… and believe me, he made some pretty big money on that sale. My happiness was because that success is what this process is about.

I’m working for your success. It’s why I’m sharing this case study. 

I hope this addressed some of your interest in how professional ghostwriter services work. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. 

~~~

Your Free “How To Hire A Ghostwriter” eBook

hiring a ghostwriter, erick mertz, hiring an editor

I believe that knowing how to conduct a proper ghostwriting interview is the bedrock of success for you and your project.

In fact, I believe in that so much, I wrote a book about it.

This book will help you prepare for an interview with a ghostwriter. In this book, I cover questions about plagiarism, contracts, and, yes, of course, money.

If you would like a complimentary copy of How To Hire A Ghostwriter: Your Guide To Finding The Best Pro For Your Project all you have to do is click and download.

If you have read this book, like it, and found it helpful, please share it with some of your fellow writers and take a moment to review it either on GoodReads or Amazon.

Contact For Professional Ghostwriter Services

erick mertz, ghostwriting services, screenplay ghostwritersIf you are serious about hiring a professional ghostwriter for your book, screenplay, or non-fiction story, or you need help with editing or self-publishing your manuscript, please contact me via email, or call.

Every new contact receives a free 30-minute 1:1 consultation about their ghostwriting project or manuscript consultation.

Additionally, I offer all independent and self-publishing authors a 10% discount on my already affordable services.

Erick MertzCase Study: How Professional Ghostwriter Services Work!
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How To Write Your Memoir Outline

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Writers often sit around and debate whether it’s better to plot out a book first, or fly by the seat of your pants. The truth is, there is no one correct answer, except to say, most writers do what works for them. If you are a new memoir writer, however, you’re probably wondering how to write your memoir outline.how to writer your memoir outline

In the age old “plotter versus pantser” debate, I find that I am definitely a plotter. Plotting is far more practical. I have tried to write too many books over the years that have fallen flat to believe I can just wing my way through a solid draft.

If I’m going to write a book, my first step is to write a solid outline. 

Most people are familiar with outlines from school. In memoir writing terms, an outline is a document highlighting the chapters and scenes that ultimately form the manuscript. 

How to write a memoir outline is not as easy as it sounds. Coming up with a cohesive and entertaining manuscript is not just a matter of sitting down and starting with the beginning. There are many things a writer must consider. 

How To Write Your Memoir Outline: The Beginning

erick mertzOne of the first things a memoir writer must first decide on is the story’s overall breadth scope. In other words, how much of the subject’s life story are you going to include in the manuscript?

Some books begin with the subject’s birth and proceed through the family story. In many instances, this approach makes sense, but if the memoir seeks to focus on a narrower period in the person’s life, you may want to skip over those early years.

Maybe the key element of the memoir is the subject’s childhood. Why write past the most important parts?

When I write a client’s memoir outline, I often interview them thoroughly. For most clients, we interview in the range of twelve to fifteen total hours. Even if I know we’re going to cover a short period of the person’s life, I like to get the whole story. 

Who are they? What makes them tick? What are some of the formative events? When I’m done with that interview process, I usually have a deep understanding of my subject. 

If you’re writing your own memoir, instead of interviewing, you may brainstorm. You could talk to people who know the critical portions of your life. Whatever the path, the whole story must be understood. 

What Goes In? What To Leave Out?

So, what do you do with all of that information? Twelve to fifteen hours of interviewing amounts to a lot more than can fit into a standard sized manuscript. 

The modern memoir reader doesn’t necessarily want the “birth to death” story. They want to read about the important times and periods in the subject’s life. The next step, after you’ve gathered all the information, is to start paring down what goes in and  ultimately, what gets left out.

I offer this advice with a bit of caution: just because your memoir focuses on a subject’s professional life, for example, does not mean the story excludes everything else. The periods in a subject’s life that end up omitted from the book’s scope and timeline may be valuable context for the story.

What does that actually mean though?

Say you’re writing a memoir about a successful business person. Starting in college they developed an innovative technology and worked a lifetime to build their fortune. You would be wise to focus the manuscript on the years between the genesis of that idea in college to the sale of their company.

On first glance, it may seem like you’re leaving out their childhood, but think again. Those formative years are full of lessons. You may use those for reflective anecdotes throughout the book, showing the subject’s connection to the past.

The point is this: you will need to cut and focus your storyline, but keep in mind there could value there.

How To Write Your Memoir Outline: The End

Once you’ve decided on your memoir’s focused scope, it’s finally time to lay out the outline. Here are a few key pointers for you to consider before putting pen to paper.

I like to start by ordering the events in my memoir outline chronologically. Start the sequence of events in the very beginning and proceed all the way to the end. 

Remember this though: a story is not a sequence of events. Once you have assembled your timeline, it is time to look at what happened to the subject with a slightly different eye. The eye for story.

What are the most impactful and dramatic moments? 

Many memoirs begin in the middle. Usually this approach capitalizes on a formative and exciting event. This kind of telling sets a tone readers love. Other memoirs start at the end then reel back to the beginning. Readers love this approach because it creates a dramatic. 

When I write a memoir outline, I often go through a few versions before I settle on the one I use. Remember, story takes time. Creating a book people want to read is a process. When you’re finally done with your memoir outline, the result should be the map to a dramatic, interesting and cohesive story.

I hope this addressed some of your interest in how to write your memoir outline. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. 

~~~

Your Free “How To Hire A Ghostwriter” eBook

hiring a ghostwriter, erick mertz, hiring an editor

I believe that knowing how to conduct a proper ghostwriting interview is the bedrock of success for you and your project.

In fact, I believe in that so much, I wrote a book about it.

While this book does not necessarily cover memoir outlines as this blog does, it will help you prepare for an interview with a ghostwriter. In this book, I cover questions about plagiarism, contracts, and, yes, of course, money.

If you would like a complimentary copy of How To Hire A Ghostwriter: Your Guide To Finding The Best Pro For Your Project all you have to do is click and download.

If you have read this book, like it, and found it helpful, please share it with some of your fellow writers and take a moment to review it either on GoodReads or Amazon.

How Do I Contact You?

erick mertz, ghostwriting services, screenplay ghostwritersIf you are serious about hiring a professional ghostwriter for your book, screenplay, or non-fiction story, or you need help with editing or self-publishing your manuscript, please contact me via email, or call.

Every new contact receives a free 30-minute 1:1 consultation about their ghostwriting project or manuscript consultation.

Additionally, I offer all independent and self-publishing authors a 10% discount on my already affordable services.

Erick MertzHow To Write Your Memoir Outline
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Video Script Copywriting – Portland

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video script copywriting portland oregonReaching customers in your local market is the goal of every business. If you’re working to reach the market in Portland, Oregon then you need a video script copywriter that understands where you’re from.

On-line videos are a popular way to reach your audience. You see them everywhere, from small start-ups to established global brands.

Engaging potential or return customers, whatever your business, requires constant contact. For a local market, this means focusing on what matters to your customers where they live. One of the most meaningful ways you can accomplish that is through video. 

In order to optimize your message to reach that audience, you need an experienced video script copywriter. With an abundance of on-line content available, whether that be on social media or elsewhere, your message needs to be sharp. You need to be concise while capturing your core message.

Most people have an idea what they want to say. What they need is someone to help them say it right.

I work with local companies, here in Portland, Oregon, large and small, to craft sharp, on-brand messaging that helps them reach their ideal customer. Whether you require a short, 60-second video for your social media feed, or a longer video for your website, I can help you deliver your message.

What Is The Video Script Copywriting Process?

portland oregon, video script

The focus of my on-boarding process is very simple. I work with my clients to understand their vision.

  1. First, I consult with you and your team to understand your unique marketing vision.
  2. Then we take that vision and implement it into an action plan that fits your needs.
  3. Next, I create a compelling, original video script tailored specifically to your brand.
  4. We review the script together. If you want changes, we work together until we both believe it’s right.

Our process could not be more simple.

Why Hire Me As Your Video Script Copywriter?

I have twenty years experience in ghostwriting, working for a variety of clients from around the world. Additionally, I have an award-winning background in screenwriting, so I bring knowledge of how to deliver a message on screen.

My rates are affordable, making getting your message out a reality, regardless of the size of your company.

I offer discounted long-term packages for regular clients.

My team includes social media marketing experts to help you distribute the message on your platforms.

copywriter erick mertz

I hope this article addressed your interest in video script copywriting. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. 

How Do I Contact You?

erick mertz, ghostwriting services, screenplay ghostwritersIf you are serious about hiring a professional ghostwriter for your book, screenplay, or non-fiction story, or you need help with editing or self-publishing your manuscript, please contact me via email, or call.

Every new contact receives a free 30-minute 1:1 consultation about their ghostwriting project or manuscript consultation.

Additionally, I offer all independent and self-publishing authors a 10% discount on my already affordable services.

Erick MertzVideo Script Copywriting – Portland
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