Memoir writing is personal and intimate. It is for you first. It can be for family, for friends, to heal, to leave a legacy or to tell a story, to educate, to inform, but many times to serve a unique purpose. Here are ideas I use in my workshop – Memorable Memoirs. They should be helpful to you. These bits work for me and were accumulated from various sources that I deem reliable.
My first memoir – Gifts of Sisterhood – was to honor my sister and celebrate her life that impacted me with gifts for a lifetime. Little did we know the book would take on a life of its own and the workshop Journey from Grief to Gratitude. It was first to take us through the grieving process after she passed away from lung cancer, and later to carry our mission: Share her courage and wit through her many gifts.
The ultimate goal was to bring attention to lung cancer and the 70,000 women who die from the disease each year, thus the Stop Smoking Sister campaign was born. Your journey will be different. Mine took me home to Ireland and a chance to write about it in my last chapter, about taking my sister’s spirit with me to County Tipperary. Yours will be the same in many ways, and unique to you.
Best of luck to you as you prepare to launch your Memorable Memoir. Take what works for you and let me know your questions or comments – we will work together. I am at the third revision stage of my second memoir – this one on my two-times experiencing violent crime and now thriving after the journey through PTSD. SEE handout below – HAPPY WRITING!
n What is a Memoir Story?
n Telling us about your MYSTERY in a new way – who are you?
n What Memoir Writing is all about
n Being courageous, compassionate – enduring personal frustrations
n Sharing wisdom, private truths, INTIMACY – making sense of life
n What is the Memoir’s significance?
n Express experience with FEELINGS – Show us who you are and what you believe
n Who do we Write for and Why?
n Family, friends, ourselves, those lost – To heal ourselves or others
n Because we must – our VOICE must ring – truth and clarity
n How do we Write and about What?
n Inner truths, REJOICING – Adventures, spiritual quest – Injustices or overcoming adversity
n The Journey of Writing for Yourself
n Personal fulfillment – Spiritual experience – Anticipate the journey
n See yourself as the “HERO” of the story – not the victim or angelic
n You as the Protagonist/Hero
n Know something must die, to be REBORN -End with a burst of energy, transform
n The Journey of Writing for Healing
n Guide your own life with empowerment – be profoundly human – explore you
n Know yourself, your uniqueness – REVELATIONS of important moments
n The Passion of Writing for Others
n Share yourself – reap REWARDS and spirit of community – not for revenge or self-service
n Consider the Story to be Told
n Don’t just write down everything – Invent and create your story from natural sound
n Input EMOTIONS and meaning – Do your research – Know characters intimately