Three reasons you should consider starting to write a memoir today.
Michelle Obama recently published her memoir called Becoming. They say the book covers some familiar terrain, but it also reveals some thoughts and situations that the public did not know before. One example is that Mrs. Obama had a miscarriage, which led her to use IVF to conceive her two daughters, Malia and Sasha. Writing this memoir gave Michelle the chance to tell her own story in her own words and share what she would like to share with the world.
While Michelle Obama is a well-known figure, you don’t need to be famous to write your own memoirs. People from all walks of life and vastly different experiences choose to write their memoirs. It all comes down to one thing: writing a memoir is a truly powerful act. Today I’d like to explore why, taking a closer look at the value of memoir writing.
The Freedom to Remember Lasts Forever
Everyone has at least one good story worth keeping around. Unlike an autobiography, which covers the life and times of the writer and is broader in scope, a memoir is more specific and allows the writer a narrower focus. Examples include accounts of a particular event, a career, a discovery, a friendship, a relationship or a trip.
Writing a memoir gives you the freedom to remember and to record an account of someone, something or a particular set of circumstances that was very important to you – and to preserve those memories for all time. After all, paper, fabric and other keepsake materials can degrade, and memories may fade over time, but a memoir serves as a permanent testament to your unique perspective and experiences. It’s a gift that can never be taken away from you.
A memoir gives you the chance to tell your story in your own words and have your telling of events be recorded and remembered forever. Seize the opportunity!
A Legacy That Lives On
It’s not just for your own memory either. A memoir is a gift that you can pass on to family, friends and others who are alive today, as well as to those who have not yet been born. Would you be interested in reading your great-grandmother’s memoirs, for example? I know I would. Through a memoir, you can share what you would like to share with the world and with posterity.
Furthermore, writing and sharing your memoirs is a great way to keep traditions and connections to the past alive. While not strictly considered works of memoir, the “Little House” series of books (including Little House in the Big Woods and Little House on the Prairie, which inspired the TV series) is a good example. For generations, many Americans have cherished these books and their depictions of late 19th-century family life in the American Midwest. Many people read them to understand the past and their own country’s history better.
You too can have a hand in preserving your part in history. While you may or may not be the next Laura Ingalls Wilder, chances are that you will not be forgotten. Writing and sharing your memoir entrusts your legacy not just to family, but to history.
Room to Grow
Writing a memoir doesn’t happen from one day to the next. It’s a process that allows you the time and the space to remember, reflect and grow as a person, and not just for the world, but for you. How did your experience change you?
No matter what you have or haven’t done in your life, chances are that you are a courageous person who hasn’t always been perfect; you’ve done the best you can with what you’ve had, which is as it should be. You can use the memoir writing process to celebrate, to rejoice, to heal, to reconcile and/or to simply remember. Just get your words down on the page.
Writing a memoir is a golden opportunity to take stock, cherish what was and continue evolving. After all, your life is a journey and your memoir will be too. Writing a memoir can help you to keep learning, keep growing and never stop appreciating it all!
Memoir Writing: Dudley Court Press
Dudley Court Press works with writers like you every day. As a full-service, hybrid publishing house, we help thoughtful people write their books and become successful published authors.