START HERE Before You Write Your Memoirs
Everyone asks me where to start writing their memoirs.
You can make this as simple as possible, starting with a childhood photo of yourself, whether you have a memory of that time or not. You can simply describe the photo from both the omniscient and personal first-person point of view. In this photo (obviously from a European country with the steering wheel on the right), there is a happy baby, a pampered baby, by the standards of the day. Infant safety was unheard of, since owning a car was only just becoming more widespread in the 1950s, after World War II. If that baby were me, I’d say that I don’t remember that day, but I remember how much my mother loved me, and cared for me, and always made sure I had proper food and drink. Or maybe I grew up to have a weight problem, and this photo depicts the beginning of that struggle.
From this point, you might launch into childhood.
Many folks are plagued by an overwhelming sense of fear that they will reveal their faults, that in order to write about their past they must first launch into a world of apologies. Become one of the apologetics.
If that is true of you, then set aside time to deal with that part of yourself, both in writing and otherwise. You might talk to a counselor or a spiritual advisor, especially if you’ve avoided that avenue. In order to write about yourself, you might find it helpful to first do a lot of forgiving. Letting yourself off the hook. Letting your parents off the hook. Journaling is not memoir-writing. Journaling is what you do to release emotions and get clear. It’s too raw, too emotional, usually, for others to want to read it.
An exercise we will discuss later in this blog is the act of writing a letter as a part of your writing freedom. Tune in next time….