We have been corresponding, and as part of my continuing series on book structure, I invited him to tell you what he knows about this essential topic. A Memoir of Three Weeks. A memoir that only covers three weeks of a life?
Why Should You Write Memoir? Much of what I will share here is from my forthcoming book, Writing for Bliss: As the author of two full-length memoirs and many personal essays, as well as being a workshop facilitator for writing for healing, I am often asked why people write memoirs.
What I usually tell them is that people write memoirs for a multitude of reasons, but typically, they have a burning need to do so.
The memoirists whom I interviewed for my research claimed that they had a story to tell and felt that they were the only one who could tell it. Others might have secrets to share, or maybe they want to write a memoir to study or understand a situation. Writer Andre Aciman believes that people write memoirs because they want a second chance to make another version of their lives.
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.
Kingston wrote The Woman Warrior as a way to explore these conflicting messages. Memoirist Mark Matousek said that his inspiration for writing his first memoir, Sex Death, Enlightenmentstemmed from his transcendent experience of the realization that his life as a busy writer for a large New York magazine was taking a psychological toll on him.
He felt a deep desire and need to slow down his life from the fast track. It was as if a voice inside him gave him this message. Writing the memoir for him was a personal mystical and spiritual exploring, and in the process he found himself transforming. For her entire life Linda Gray Sexton, daughter of celebrated poet Anne Sexton who committed suicide when she was in her forties, has struggled to come to terms with losing a mother in such a way.
Writing her two memoirs, Searching for Memory Street and Half in Lovehas helped her to heal and to reconcile herself to the trauma of her childhood. Writing has also helped her deal with her own emotional demons. Having a family member who has committed suicide affects your family history in a way that is difficult to shake.
Many individuals who write memoirs are also the type of people who like posing questions, and this quality suggested a particular personality trait inherent to writers, especially memoirists. Posing questions is inherent to wanting to understand our past experiences. Revenge does not serve anyone well.
In fact, the best revenge is to live a good life. It is also difficult to read a memoir that judges rather than reflects upon the past. After a while, that perspective becomes tiring for the reader to read. My sentiments are similar to those of the poet Pablo Neruda, who says that for him writing is like breathing.
Personally, I cannot live without writing, and like many writers, I live to write.
This is another reason to write a memoir—to do what I love doing.How to Write Memoir: Legal Terms, Definitions and Examples. Understating legal terms and definitions can be tricky, which is why we’ve put it together in an easy-to-follow download with simple examples from famous memoirs.
By the way, the author of the most-read memoir of all time, Anne Frank, didn’t write her diary thinking it would sell any copies.
Advice – Writing Your Memoir Here’s a . Ten reasons anyone should write a memoir. by Jerry Waxler. To learn more about the cultural passion for memoirs, and reasons you should write your own, read my book Memoir Revolution: A Social Shift that Uses Your Story to Heal, Connect, and Inspire, available on Amazon.
Should you give it a shot because you think it might sell? No. You should write memoir because it will make you a better writer. Also, a better person. 10 Reasons You Should Be Writing Memoir Right Now. Column by Susan DeFreitas June 2, 3 comments.
point of view, sense of humor, etc. All of which you really cannot avoid in memoir. The thing you cannot do when writing memoir is tell a bunch of stories. On the surface, that’s what memoir appears to be, but it’s more than that.
Good narrative nonfiction always connects the reader’s heart to a deeper truth. Rule #3: It Must Be Personal. Don’t make the mistake of thinking memoir is autobiography. It’s not. Additional reasons to write a memoir include preserving a family’s legacy, learning more about one’s ancestors, a search for personal identity, gaining insight into the past, or healing from a.