My Blog

How I Wrote and Sold My Memoir

The Seven Stages of the Writing Journey

In the following series of posts, I’ll break down how I went from an idea to a published book in what I call the 7 Stages of Memoir Writing:


  1. Wanting to write
  2. Writing first draft
  3. Revising and research
  4. Querying
  5. More querying
  6. Agent representation and book deal
  7. Editing and publication
Cecilia Aragon Author

How I Wrote and Sold My Memoir

It seems the web is full of blog posts from people who sat down, dashed off a first or second draft of their book, happened to open Twitter, noticed a pitch session going on that day, crafted a tweet in 15 minutes, posted it, got “liked” by an agent, sent ...
Map of Memoir

The 7 Stages of Memoir Writing: Introduction

People often ask me, “How long did it take you to write your memoir?” I usually pause for an unreasonably long time, because it’s a trick question. On the one hand, I wrote an outline in two days in March 2017, and then got up early every day for the ...
Cecilia Aragon Author

Stage 1: Wanting To Write

In the previous post, I showed you my messy, yet hopefully effective attempt at sketching an overview of the memoir writing process from beginning to publication. Today, I’m going to describe the first of the 7 stages of memoir writing: Wanting to Write. This stage actually lasted a full decade ...
Cecelia Aragon Author

Stage 2: Writing the First Draft

In my last post on my writing journey, I talked about overcoming the sting of rejection, and how rejection might actually be a sign of needing outside editing help. In today’s post, I’ll share the process of getting down a first draft of my memoir, Flying Free, in 3 months ...
Cecila Aragon Author

Stage 3: Revising and Research

In my most recent post in this series, I explained how I wrote a rough draft of my memoir, Flying Free, in 3 months. In today's post on #3 of the 7 Stages of Memoir Writing, Revising and Research, I shift from art to business. I’ll go into the amount ...
Cecila Aragon Author

Stage 4: Querying

Previously, I talked about the months I spent researching how to get a memoir published, and how I built my author presence on the web and social media. In today’s post on #4 of the 7 Stages of Memoir Writing: Querying, I’ll explain exactly how to go about querying agents ...
Cecila Aragon Author

Stage 5: More Querying

Last time, I covered my querying process – and all my rejections – in detail. In today’s post on #5 of the 7 stages of memoir writing, I’ll explain why it’s important not to give up, and how to keep looking for new approaches to the querying process. I've kept ...
Cecila Aragon Author

Stage 6. Agent Representation and Book Deal

Last time, I talked about the query slog: wading through the depths of depression and rejection, and what I did to keep motivated and how I tried new approaches. In today’s post, #6 in the 7 stages of memoir writing, I’ll discuss what happens when you grab that brass ring ...
Cecila Aragon Author

Stage 7: Editing and Publication

In my last post, I described how to handle “The Call” (an offer of agent representation), how to evaluate an agent, and how I ended up finding exactly the right agent for my memoir. In today’s post, the last one in this series, I’ll talk about the final step: how ...