Are you toying with the idea of writing a memoir? Are you unsure or fearful of venturing out of your comfort zone to become the author of your true tales?
You’re thinking: I’ve never written anything before. I‘d like to write a memoir, but I don’t think I have the talent to make my experiences come alive.
I’m thinking: Take a chance. Try something new. Trust your voice. You do have what it takes to write. I believe you’ll find a new friend in memoir.
- First of all, ask yourself if you believe your memories are important and worth sharing?
- Then think about the last time you told a friend or relative an anecdote about a significant memory of someone in your life. Did your telling the story peak the listener’s interest? More than likely it did.
- Finally, are you comfortable leaving significant memories stuffed away in your head rather than writing them down on paper for future generations to discover and glean insight into their heritage, or will you let them slip away into oblivion after you are no longer here?
Do you realize you are the only one who can tell your truths exactly as you remember them? This simple certainty is profound, when you stop and think about it. You are truly unique, and so is the voice you will uncover when you drop your guard, step into new territory, and let your words flow in a natural way. Really, there is no right way or wrong way to write your story, if you stick to the truth, relate events in a coherent fashion, and don’t try to be someone you’re not. Authenticity is key.
Look at the blank page or computer screen in front of you as a vessel waiting to catch your every word. It won’t criticize you in any way, nor will it grade you on grammar, sentence structure, or spelling. You’re absolutely free to be you—comforting thought, indeed. How often have you had the opportunity to find comfort in a new zone—perhaps even a safety zone, where you can transfer those memories to paper that you want told, understood, and taken in by others exactly as you describe them?
- Now simply start talking to that innocent and harmless page in front of you as you recount special moments or work through difficult times. Trust in yourself to tell things as you see them even if, at first, you squirm a little. Often times the “uncomfort” you feel when venturing into new territory, those places that take you out of your comfort zone, will allow you to find the freedom to unleash your creativity.
I’ve witnessed, time and again, people amazed by their individual power to capture in memoir the memories and feelings they never thought they could record, simply because they stepped through the threshold as the door of belief opened in them.
As you begin writing memoir, be kind to yourself. As with every new endeavour, this is the time to celebrate your first steps and your freed voice. Down the road, if you want to publish your work, willing editors abound, who will help you polish your memoirs.