To be fully alive. The memoirists whom I interviewed for my research claimed they had a story to tell and felt they were the only ones who could tell it. But somewhere in that story there are good times. Otherwise, what will happen to your experiences, thoughts, perceptions, and memories?
My sentiments are similar to those of the poet Pablo Neruda, who says that for him writing is like breathing.
Writer Andre Aciman believes that people write memoirs because they want a second chance to make another version of their lives. We write to make a name for ourselves. While literary purists continue to separate the two types of life story, there is little discernible difference for most readers.
But should you try your hand at memoir based on such crass commercial concerns? A mother who has not doubted her ability to be a good parent? To his grandchildren reading his memoir 60 years later, it appears to be a life of excitement, freedom, and incredible adventures.
Amazon and their Kindle readers have transformed the book industry. Write to get through the tough parts. And while it may seem paradoxical that reviewing your past can help you get more in touch with the present, sometimes it really can. Why is your story different from other memoirs already available?
If you have the interest, style, and discipline, a second career as a writer awaits you. While there are villains in the world, much unhappiness and many toxic relationships stem from misunderstanding and miscommunication of facts or intent.
An autobiography causes you to record the adventures, tragedies, and dramas of your life with insights that can be valuable to others. Whatever the cause, such events can trigger bad feelings that fester for years, corroding relationships and eroding happiness.
She is the author of the novel Hot Season, which won a Gold IPPY Award; her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry has been featured in more than thirty journals and anthologies.
Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and download free character development worksheets! Before approaching a publisher or a literary agent about publishing your memoir, ask yourself the following questions: Confession and forgiveness of others and ourselves are often the outcome of a life story project.
If you feel you have a true story to tell that illuminates life and relationships and all that rigmarole, write it. Without telling everything that happened, they document all that remains most vivid. Because if your past is the map of a territory that contains hidden treasure, writing memoir can show you where X marks the spot.
You have opinions, feel passionately, and live with your heart. Employ elements of fiction to bring your story to life I like to think of the people in memoirs as characters.
Rather than consume more, we can make something. This art of seeing your own faults—of seeing even highly traumatic events from your own life from more than one point of view—is not only a good practice in memoir, but in life. The best way to evoke these feelings in your readers is to connect your emotions, as the protagonist, with pivotal events happening throughout your narrative arc.
Securing a publishing contract with a major traditional book publisher can be very difficult unless you are already a bestselling author, a celebrity, or have an extraordinary story to tell.
Put your readers in your shoes Powerful writers show, not tell. One more note on honesty: Your story may have some pain in it.
Which, in turn, is going to help you understand how emotional events shape character. Others might have secrets to share, or maybe they want to study or understand certain situations. A great memoir pulls you into their lives:I Want to Write a Memoir: What Should I Write and How Do I Write It?
Who Should Write a Memoir?
And Why? The answer to that is quite simple: You should. Why? Because all of us have a story to tell. If that is not a good enough answer for you, though, consider the following.
Why You Should Write a Memoir—Even if Nobody Will Read It Among the psychological benefits: It helps people make sense of their lives. Someone get a gun and shoot me. That’s a lot of competition. Seriously though, why do we write? Why are all of us pursuing writing in the face of the increasingly limited attention spans of the broader public?
Additional reasons to write a memoir include preserving a family’s legacy, learning more about one’s ancestors, a search for personal identity, gaining insight. 12 Reasons You Should Write Your Memoir Anyway. By Patti M Hall.
It's time, right? You're ready to write about your life. Why write about your life? To find you. Ten reasons anyone should write a memoir. by Jerry Waxler. To learn more about the cultural passion for memoirs, and reasons you should write your own, read my book Memoir Revolution: A Social Shift that Uses Your Story to Heal, Connect, and Inspire, available on Amazon.Download