A Memoir Is a Legacy of Love
A memoir is a special book. It’s special because it’s about a special person – you. No matter your present or past – you are an individual with unique experiences and a personal story to share.
People often think an autobiography and a memoir are interchangeable. They are similar, of course – both are the story of the author, as told by the author. However, an autobiography usually covers the author’s entire life – from birth to the present. It deals more with facts: where you were born, where you went to school, what was your profession, what were the things that happened to you. A memoir can certainly include that information, but more often, the focus is on a moment in time or a notable event. The author of a memoir narrates a story – a true story as they remember it, and essential to the narrative are their feelings, beliefs, and perspective.
You can write a memoir that recounts your love story – from meeting your future spouse to your wedding to your present relationship status. Your memoir can cover the time when you were raising your children. Or you can reflect on your childhood or your career. It can also describe how you celebrated the highs and coped with the lows.
Do you think because you’re not a famous actor or rich businessperson that you’ve got nothing to say? Just because you didn’t live a “rock and roll” lifestyle doesn’t mean your life is boring or uneventful. Maybe you led a quiet and low-key life. That doesn’t mean nothing happened. Something happened. In the quietest of moments, what were your observations about life? What did you perceive about the small town you grew up in or the city that roared around you? Who were the people that meant the most to you? How did the politics of the day affect you? How did the world’s fast-moving technology frighten or energize you? Perhaps you did lead a more adventurous life. Maybe you were a hellraiser. Whatever the circumstances, and whether you are young or old or somewhere in the middle, something happened. You happened.
You are a human being on this earth, alive at this moment in time. There is nothing unimportant about you because nobody shares the same space at the exact same time, so that makes all of us unique. So why not share your unique story? The process of writing a memoir can be therapeutic and help to remove emotional blockages. Joyful memories, past trauma, even regrets can be captured in writing to contemplate, learn from and share. You would be surprised at the emotional changes and shifts that can take place in telling your story. You may find you can forgive something that happened to you or forgive yourself for something. There is nothing wasted.
Keep in mind; a memoir doesn’t have to be somber or serious. You might want to focus on the humorous time you and your brother owned a cupcake store in Queens. Or your hilarious attempts to potty train your little one. Or when you once fed a stray cat, and he kept coming back and wouldn’t leave – and how he finally adopted you and has been your constant companion for the last ten years. A memoir is a personal story about anything about YOU.
If you’re not the “put pen to paper” type, a conscientious ghostwriter can work with you on your story, listening with empathy while keeping your voice and passion. You are the storyteller; they are the medium for getting it all down in clear, readable prose. You’ve got a book in you, and it’s time to let it out.
Your loved ones and friends would be excited to read your memoir. Ok, your son or daughter might not be ecstatic about tales of their potty training, but they’ll be proud of you being a published author. Your story is as special as you are. The process of writing a memoir may bring healing, acceptance, laughter, or tears. But you’ll learn something and so will others who read it. A memoir is a legacy of love.