The Art of Writing a Memoir
It is not surprising that art connects people. A well-written memoir is considered to be a true art because all personal stories that you share in it tend to educate and assist others. People usually write memoirs when they have powerful personal stories that they hope will inspire. The aim of your memoir is to explore the meaning of events from your past. Writing a memoir is also a great way to validate to your choices, perspectives, decisions, and responses to others. It will allow you to discover and tell your own truths. You should clearly understand what responsibility you carry when deciding to write such type of work because it will undoubtedly influence all your readers somehow. Here are some strategies for composing a memoir about a difficult subject in a constructive way.
Search inside Yourself
Elie Wiesel, a Romanian-born American Jewish writer, once said: ‘I will say, with memoir, you must be honest. You must be truthful’. It goes without saying that you should focus on yourself first. Believe it or not, but all answers to questions that your life asks you lie within you. Everything you see around you is a reflection of what is inside you. Try to understand your values, motivations, capabilities, and personal traits. You won`t be able to write a memoir that would impress others you aren`t aware of your true self.
Write to Heal Yourself
First of all, take advantage of writing as a form of healing. You will definitely experience a positive effect by employing expressive writing to cope with difficult life experiences. It will help you observe your pain, your patterns, your darkness, and your fears. You will notice that something powerful happens inside you when you write for healing and self-reflection. These notes can help you greatly during the writing of your memoir.
Be Ready to Share Some Intimate Details of Your Life
It is very important to remember that writing a memoir isn`t about sharing every single article of your dirty laundry. But you should be honest about your experience all the time so that others could benefit. Of course, it can be quite scary to share your life experience but if you feel that it is worth it then don`t be afraid to speak out. Remember that readers sense fake a mile away. Your memoir should serve the reader.
Let Your Draft Be Rough
There is nothing wrong with letting your story come out and be as messy as it needs to be. Start out by telling the whole story without worrying too much about grammar, punctuation, and structure. In fact, you will need to go through a series of drafts in order to write a good memoir. Describe the main events and only then start adding details. After that, evoke an appropriate tone or voice. It`s okay to take a break from time to time since you aren`t writing a humorous story but revealing your deep emotions and even pain.
Switch on Your Author Mindset
Don`t turn your memoir into a catharsis. You should shape your deeply personal confessions into a story that will inform and educate others. What is more, it should be easy for readers to consume. Good memoirs have to be to the point so edit your story to its essentials. You`ll see that you end up cutting a lot of your original draft. One more thing to remember is that you should be very careful about choosing your editor. It should be a person with whom you feel you have a good personality fit.
Susan Cheever, a prize-winning best-selling writer known for her memoir, believes that this kind of writing is the novel of the 21st century. Who knows, maybe she is definitely right. Every person`s life is a separate book.