Review: How to Write a Memoir in 30 Days by Roberta Temes, PhD

how to write a memoirHow to Write a Memoir in 30 Days
written by Roberta Temes, PhD
published by Reader’s Digest

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: I was asked by the publicist to review this book. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book: 

The title pretty much sums up the contents of this book. The author presumes you have no idea what to write and offers daily exercises and samples to inspire the inner memoir-writing-maniac that’s undoubtedly alive in all of us.

A typical chapter gives you an assignment. Day 7, for example, asks you to identify one event from your past that changed you and influenced your life’s mission. (Your life’s mission was covered on day 6). Following the assignment, there are between four and six pages of samples. The day’s reading concludes with a “Clear Communication” tip. Day seven’s tip is about the difference between its and it’s.

After the final day’s lesson, you’ll find an appendix that offers suggestions on publishing your memoir. My favorite tip in this section includes, “figuring out how to get orders from bookstores and individual readers.” 

Thanks. That was helpful.

I believe she has some good ideas and insight for writing a memoir. If you have some extraordinary life story you wish to share, this book is a good start. The reason I couldn’t give it 5 stars is because I’m struggling to believe anyone can create a marketable (or even readable) memoir in thirty days. Not even if you stayed awake and worked 24 hours every one of those thirty days. To suggest to a novice that he or she can is just mean.


Would I recommend it: If you have some sensational life story, you’re dying to tell; absolutely.


About the book – from Goodreads: A quick, fun and easy guide to writing a personal memoir in just one month! Step-by-step techniques, culled from writers’ workshops taught by the author, are presented in a welcoming, non-intimidating style.

Everyone has a story to tell. If you’ve ever thought of sharing yours but don’t know where to begin, How to Write a Memoir in 30 Days gives you the perfect framework. Step-by-step techniques, culled from writers’ workshops taught by the author, are presented in a series of fun writing exercises, including: · crafting your three-sentence memoir · identifying an incident that changed your life · creating stirring scenes You’ll figure out the major themes of your life, mine your memory for dramatic incidents, stitch your assignments (and diary entries, blog posts, and other writings) together into a compelling plot, and polish your prose into believable dialogue and exciting action. The book also includes quick “clear communication” lessons about spelling and grammar, plus information and advice about different publishing paths. Simply follow the daily directions and in just one month you will have a memoir ready to submit for publishing. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or a novice, dream of hitting the bestseller lists or just want to pass a little wisdom on to your grandkids, How to Write a Memoir in 30 Days is a fun, easy guide to writing the Next Great Memoir—yours.

About the author: Roberta Temes, PhD is an accomplished author, editor and writing instructor, as well as a seasoned psychotherapist and psychology faculty member. She lectures around the country at corporate meetings, medical conferences and health spas. Dr. Temes’ newest book, How to Write a Memoir in 30 Days is available now on Amazon and everywhere books are sold. She is also the author of the award-winning Living with an Empty Chair and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Hypnosis.

Temes lives in New Jersey and Florida, with her husband David Lyons, a university financial systems consultant. Temes is a mother and grandmother, too. For more information please visit



  1. I don’t think I am going to write a memoir but if I did I will check this out!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  2. M y Nelson says:

    I read How to Write a Memoir In 30 Days and before I received the book I knew it probably couldn’t realistically be done in 30 days so I didn’t have high expectations. I was in the middle of compiling notes and journal entries for 3 years and putting them in order. Once the book got here it instantly lit a fire under my buns. This book is thought provoking and it help me to put my book in some type of order. I was impressed with the small sample anecdotes that were given, they were very helpful and quite interesting. I also thought the punctuation and word samples took this book beyond my expectations. I would absolutely recommend this book as long as you don’t take the title to seriously. Take your time take notes or better yet mark your book with a highlighter because there is alot of good information that your brain will not be able to retain. You will walk away with alot of great knowledge and maybe even half a book (lol). I went on Amazon and requested a free copy of this book in exchange for a review and to my surprise the book arrived in about 3 days after my request. Who knew you could do that?