There are myths that prevent you from not only completing your novel or memoir, but keep you from even getting started. Some of these myths are concocted by the world out there, and some are vague terrors that dwell within. Here are a few:
1) I can’t be a novelist/memoirist without an MFA in fiction.
Tolstoy never got an MFA. Neither did the Bronte sisters. The story lives in your imagination. Trust it. Sometimes what you need is to give yourself permission to write.
2) I can’t write my first draft until I complete my research.
What we care about in your story are the characters and how their lives intersect and influence each other. Once you’ve completed your first draft you can do a deep dive into the 17th century Greek architecture that your protagonist is so obsessed with.
3) I can’t write my memoir until my parents die.
Every writer fears the fallout of telling the truth on the page, regardless of whether it is fiction or non-fiction. As Anne Lamott says, “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
The only thing between you and your dream is a deep breath. There.
Get started now.