There are a multitude of reasons for writing your memoirs. Many people want to record their own stories for future generations. It’s a beautiful way to pass down the tale of your life to your children and grandchildren. However, if you’ve suffered a trauma or been through difficult life circumstances, writing your memoirs can be a cathartic project that becomes a part of your healing process. Sometimes the reason for writing is intensely personal and should be done for your own benefit.
Putting Trauma in Perspective
If your life hasn’t always been a happy one, it’s tempting to push the negative memories and feelings down into a place where they won’t be disturbed. Psychologists will tell you, however, that ignoring trauma or trying to bury it doesn’t work. Trauma lingers long after the events have passed. Consequently, your current relationships and ways of dealing with the world can be negatively affected.
Writing your memoirs can help you come to terms with past traumas. Looking at them through the lens of experience can help you put them in perspective. Writing your memoirs is one way to take out those past events and reexamine them. Discovering positives within a negative narrative can help you put past pain in perspective. Seeing things from a new perspective can take some of the looming effects out of past traumas and allow you to move on. Lancing those memories and letting the poison out can help you put a tragic past behind you.
Recognizing Progress Through Writing Your Memoirs
Writing your memoirs allows you to acknowledge your journey toward a healthier you. If you are in the process of healing from emotional or physical trauma, it is easy to lose sight of how far you’ve come. You focus on the trauma itself, feeling the pain, and relieving the sorrow. When writing the story of what happened, you move through time, and it’s easier to recognize the progress you’ve made.
Discovering What You Need to Change
Part of healing is moving past remembered pain. To do this, changing patterns of behavior is essential. Writing your memoirs can help you acknowledge unhealthy behaviors and thought patterns that you tend to get stuck in. As you write, you will see these patterns, making it easier to recognize which ones you are still clinging to in the here and now. Writing your memoirs can help you clarify and change unhealthy habits so that you can move forward in healthier ways.
Reducing the Hold of Traumatic Memories
Traumatic events in your life often set up triggers that impact how we live even years later. If you don’t process and examine past traumas, these triggers can become debilitating. The more we try to avoid thinking about bad memories, the more certain events become triggers that drag us into the past.
Writing your memoirs gives you the chance to process more fully what happened. Psychologists agree that this minimizes triggering events. With repeated readings and regular work on facing your traumatic past, the power of those memories will diminish. As a result, they will lose the powerful hold they have over your life.
Writing your memoirs can be a cautionary tale for others as well as a catharsis for the writer. If you’ve lived through a severe trauma that still haunts you today, writing it down and sharing our story may be helpful for you and the reader. It may even help other members of your family and circle of friends come to terms with their part in your trauma. Don’t be afraid to share your project with them so they can move forward as well.
Memoir Writing Made Easy
Are you interested in writing your memoir, but don’t know where to start?
Our Memoir Writing Made Easy course is a step-by-step guide to help you generate story ideas and write with a style you can be proud of. Plus you can work at your own pace, whenever and wherever you want! The course is written for non-writers. Topics include: setting yourself up for writing success, writing styles and formats, editing, legal issues, publishing ideas and lots more!
Visit our Memoir Writing Made Easy webpage to learn more!
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.