Frequently Asked Questions

 
 

Here are answers to some of the most common questions about memoir and the process of partnering with me to write your story.

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What is memoir?

Memoir is simply an author sharing their story and reflecting on their life. It is one person's remembrances, a collection of memories, tales, and life lessons. Most importantly, memoir is a narrative told in the author's own special voice, from their one-of-a-kind point of view. Memoir captures a particular time and place in history that is unique to the author, and records it to be enjoyed for generations to come.

why is storytelling important?

Story is how we as humans make sense of our reality. It's how we find meaning and purpose in the midst of seemingly random occurrences. When you choose to share your story, you are leaving behind a trail of valuable treasures and clues for those who will come after you. And you, as the storyteller, will be immeasurably impacted by the process as well. You will have the opportunity to reflect, to explore, and to make sense of your lived experiences in meaningful ways.  

I've made a lot of mistakes, and/or my story isn't a very happy one. Why should i tell my story?

Sometimes telling the truth can be uncomfortable. It might mean taking responsibility for the wrongs you have committed. It might also mean shedding light on secrets, deep-rooted hurts, and wounds that just don't seem to heal. It can be a very healing experience to expose these memories to the light of day.  When you author your own story, you have the opportunity to say the necessary apologies, to right the wrongs, and set the record straight. You are not the first person to make mistakes or experience hardships- and you certainly won't be the last one either. Use your wisdom to help others and make peace with your past.  

 

 

How does the process work?

When you decide to work with me, we will meet together for approximately six one-hour, recorded interviews, over the course of a couple of months. I will guide you through a series of thoughtful questions that will help to capture the most important memories of your life. The interviews will be transcribed, and then I will edit the oral account into a cohesive, written narrative. You will provide your edits and corrections as well, until the manuscript is complete. At that point, you can decide to move forward with the process of transforming your manuscript into a printed book that can be shared with your loved ones. For more information, please see my Pricing & Services page.

how much does it cost?

The price can vary depending on the size and particulars of each individual project. You can be as frugal or ambitious as your time and pocket book allow.  The cost typically starts at about $15 per page, and will increase depending on how you choose to design the finished product. For more information, please complete the Contact Form here, or reach out to me at jayna.russel@gmail.com or 619-993-8017 to schedule a free consultation.

i'm just an average person who has lived a normal life. why should i tell my story?

Even if you have never been on the cover of a magazine, you are uniquely you. No one has, or ever will, live your special, one-of-a-kind existence. There are things only you know, and that story deserves to be told. You have an amazing opportunity to leave behind a legacy of truth, wisdom, humor, and love. Sometimes it is the quiet victory, the silent battle, and the unseen miracle that provides the most hope. You have the power to give that gift to your readers.

what if i make people angry with the things that i share?

This is a question that has plagued writers for eons. The long and short of it is that you get to share whatever you choose to. If you feel like you need to speak the truth, then do so. If you want to avoid any possible backlash, then be diplomatic or omit the controversial stories.  You only have to share what you feel comfortable with, and the benefit of working with a writing coach like myself is that we can navigate these challenges together, in order to come up with the most satisfactory solutions.