Memoir Writing: Easy as Falling Off a Cliff
“Have you written your memoirs?” she asked me. I’m a biographer so the question leaves a big, long echo resounding in the air until I answer. It’s a test, I know.
“I’ve written…parts,” I confess.
A mini-memoir about my last year with my mom before she died (“My Name As A Prayer” on Amazon.com). A few dozen personal essays published in Southern magazines and newspapers. Journals dating back to November 22, 1963.
The easiest part of memoir-writing is the exhilaration that comes from diving into the stories…easy as falling off a cliff. Personally, I prefer to fall off a cliff using safety ropes, a strong harness, and someone belaying from below, as my son-in-law demonstrates at right. (Go Ryan!!)
The hardest part of memoir-writing is the belief that it is going to be difficult. Wanting to do it, feeling compelled to do it, but dreading it, is the worst part.
Free yourself from the dread and from that moment on, you have new energy to get going.
But for me, as an author who has written more than a dozen biographies, my answer to the question of “have you written your memoirs?” is this: “Nope. I’m going to hire a personal biographer.”