Friday, August 6, 2010

Editing Tip #40: Writing Your Memoir (part five)

Kathy Ide’s Editing Tips
© Kathy Ide, 2010

In this column, freelance author, editor, and speaker Kathy Ide shares tips on self-editing your manuscript.

~ Writing Your Memoir (part five) ~

The last few weeks I’ve been discussing some steps to creating a good memoir. I hope you’ve learned some things, even if you’re writing something other than a memoir, since many of the suggestions relate to any type of manuscript. Here are the last three steps.

Step 8: Hire a Professional

Once your manuscript is as polished as you can get it, hire an established, professional editor. If you think you might like to have me edit your memoir, contact me for a quote. If you’d like to consider other options, you could go to the Christian Editor Network ( and fill out the online form for Authors Seeking Editors. That form will come directly to me, and I will personally match your request with editors who fit your specific requirements. You may then contact those editors, check out their Web sites, and communicate with them to determine which is the best choice for you. (The Christian Editor Network also has professional collaborators/ghostwriters.)

Step 9: Rewrite

Now comes the most difficult part: Throw out everything you’ve written except the truly compelling parts, and start again from scratch. Build your story on the new, more solid foundation.

Follow the earlier steps with your revised version.

Step 10: Don’t Give Up

At this point, you’re probably feeling discouraged by how much work is involved in writing your life story. But take heart! If God has called you to write, He will be with you, helping you, every step of the way. And He has people He knows will need to read what He has called you to write. He knows how long it will take for you to get your manuscript as polished as it needs to be, and get it published in whatever way He knows is best, so that those people can have it at the precise moment when they will need it. Trust in His timing and His guidance. And pray every step of the way!


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Kathy Ide has written books, articles, play and movie scripts, short stories, devotionals, and curriculum. Her books include Polishing the PUGS and Fiction and Truth. Kathy is a full-time freelance editor, offering a wide range of editorial services for authors and publishers. She also speaks at writers’ conferences across the country. She is the founder and coordinator of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network ( and the Christian Editor Network ( To find out more, please visit

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