In this post, you will find seven great reasons to write a memoir.
Why write a memoir?
Writing your memoir helps you to identify the threads and themes in your life and make sense of what you’ve lived.
A Memoir isn’t a lengthy work recording the events of a lifetime from birth through current day; it’s a window into a room of your life. Like a photograph, it’s one snapshot or a series of snapshots that form a composition. It’s a series of selective stories that one person writes about her life. These stories recount events as a chapter in a life such as a coming-of-age story, or as a theme across a lifetime such as a creative passion or a career. These stories are remembered and recorded as what the writer knows at that moment, and what a writer can glean from that moment.“Memoir is not the whole head of hair, but one or two strands of the hair,” Jean Little.
The most important reason to write a memoir:
There are many reasons for writing your life story, but the most compelling one is:
- To Tell Your Story– Every life is unique and there is only one you. Only you can tell your story in your unique way. You have something special – your voice and your style. As Dani Shapiro says: “When you write a memoir, you are writing your version of what you think happened from your own perspective. Someone else might have another version and years and years later your perception of an incident might eventually change.”
Other important reasons to write your memoir:
- To have a greater understanding of yourself. Memoirists often write to tell others about their experiences and to make sense of their lives, but they usually end up learning more about themselves in the process.
- To Leave A Legacy.New generations will want to know about their family history and your recorded memories won’t be forgotten. Writing your memoir offers families and friends your side of the story. Even if your memoir is not publicly released, it will have left a trail for people who knew you to follow. Sue Monk Kidd says, “stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.”
- To Connect.Telling your stories allows you to connect with people who have gone through similar experiences or with people who have not but can empathize and learn from your stories. Jeannette Walls says, “Memoir is about handing over your life to someone and saying, this is what I went through, this is who I am, and maybe you can learn something from it.”
- To Heal.Writing your stories is therapeutic. If you write the truth, in your own voices, a memoir can be a healing experience. According to Anne Lamott: “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
- To Feel Good.Studies show that the physical experience of writing our stories, sharing them and sifting through our memories releases feel good chemicals. It can be a powerful catalyst for improved self-acceptance, self confidence and personal development.
- To Learn How To Tell Stories.The art and craft of storytelling is a great one for anybody to have in this life. Memoirists learn how to develop their voice, and to create stories and scenes with beginnings, middles, and endings. They learn how to show rather than tell. They learn how to organise their thoughts and to communicate more clearly.
Tip: Don’t write a memoir to get revenge. The best revenge is to live a good life. Write it for yourself. Write it to be true and useful. If they learn something useful from your memoir, that is a bonus.