Friday, February 24, 2012

Why I Chose to Write Memoir

My reason for writing memoir.
I began writing memoir without realizing I was writing memoir. 
Memoir is often mistaken for autobiographies but it is, in fact, quite different.    According to Webster, memoir is “the story of a personal experience”.  This differs from autobiographies in that a memoir tells one story from your life while an autobiography tells the entire story of your life. 
Writing one’s autobiography can be a daunting task.  The idea of capturing your entire lifetime in writing is overwhelming, causing many people to put it off or avoid it all together.  Approaching your life story from a memoirist’s perspective, however, is much more practical because you start small, focusing on one aspect of your life.
Another positive to writing memoir, as opposed to an autobiography, is that you have a multitude of writing opportunities.  Once you write your autobiography, you are done!  Your life has been preserved.  Writing memoir, however, allows you to write many different stories from a variety of perspectives.
You may not think you have anything memorable to preserve but every life is rich with experiences that deserve to be shared.  Preserving these memories is important, not only for you but for future generations.  Writing about your life also helps you come to terms with your past, helping you make sense of what has come and gone.    
There are a multitude of inspirations from which to begin your memoir.  Below are five of my favorites:
  • Choose an event from your childhood that has remained a constant companion all these years.
  • Illuminate a place you have visited.
  • Pay tribute to an influential person from your past.
  • Write about a transformational experience as an adult.
  • Uncover a repressed memory by writing about it.
I will go into further detail on how to write each of these musings in future posts.  But for now, understand that it doesn’t matter what you write, or even how well you write it, the important thing is that you write, every single day.  If you allow yourself daily writing time, your story will be told.
What are some of your favorite inspirations for writing memoir?  I would love to hear them!

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