Congratulations! You’ve made up your mind. You’ve decided to write your memoir and share an important part of your life and yourself with the world. Regardless of whether this is something you’ve considered doing for a long time or the result of a more recent inspiration, like a New Year’s resolution, it’s time to move full steam ahead. And to help you stay motivated for the worthwhile journey to come, I’d like to share with you four reasons why I believe deciding to write your memoir is the best decision you’ve made all year.
To Write Your Memoir Can Be Good for the Soul
Writing a memoir is a highly reflective act. To begin with, there’s the business of deciding what time in your life or what particular subject to write about, if you haven’t already decided this previously. You can consider what you’d like to write about as well as what you think others would like to hear about. For example, let’s say you decide to focus on writing about your experiences as a military police officer, raising your children or your move to another city.
Second, there’s the business of research and remembrance, which will require you to dig deep for all the stories and material that will form the basis of your book. Though not everything will actually make its way into the book, this is the time to take stock and think about all the people, places, events and memories that have made up your life. What you’ve seen, what you’ve learned. Why you did the things that you did and what has made you you. It’s a brave thing. And I truly believe that it’s a good thing for the soul.
You Have the Opportunity to Be a Better Person
No matter how you feel about it, the past cannot be changed. Writing your memoir gives you the chance to tell your side of things; however, by sticking to facts and resisting the urge to rewrite history, the memoir-writing process allows you the opportunity to gain a new, kinder and gentler appreciation of yourself and your surroundings.
After all, hindsight is 20/20. Knowing more may not have helped you then, but having a fuller picture can certainly help you now. Being honest with yourself as you research for and write your memoir can help you understand yourself better. And see exactly how far you’ve come, which I’d bet is a long way.
Others Will Understand You Better
No matter how major or how minor the part, we all influence the others around us in the ongoing soap opera that is our lives. But unfortunately, it’s a common tendency to confine our knowledge of people to those roles: our neighbor Joe, Karen from yoga, Aunt Anne, etc.
Writing, publishing and sharing your memoir, however, can help you to break out of old roles and allow the people in your life to see you in a different context and thus in a new light. Even people you may have known for thirty years can learn new things about you in this way and be pleasantly surprised.
For example, through a memoir, your grandchildren might learn that their grandparents didn’t always live in a big, fancy house, but that they were once newcomers with few resources who slowly but surely built the family business into what it is today. Or they might learn that you found creative ways to deal with social pressures: my sons were quite amused to learn that their grandmother (my mother) pretended to her high school classmates that she’d had a boyfriend one summer—so she would fit in despite her father’s restrictions on her social life.
Revealing new layers of yourself through writing can help others in your life to understand you that much better.
You Will Leave a Legacy
No one is immortal (or at least not yet anyway), but words are powerful tools that can help you live on in some form forever.
In fact, writing and publishing a memoir can help ensure that your thoughts and story are shared with your family, friends and loved ones, and handed down to all who wish to know you and your experiences better. That’s what makes a memoir such a potent legacy-bearer as compared to photographs or other keepsakes, as a memoir—a book—is a respected way of letting your voice be heard loud and clear through the ages.
And you? What legacy would you like to leave? Writing, publishing and sharing your memoir can allow you to leave a legacy you can be proud of.
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.
For more information, including about DCP’s programs for writers including Writers’ Sprint and Aspiring Author to Published Pro, please get in touch at +1-520-329-2729 or publisher@DudleyCourtPress.com.