Let’s talk memoirs. You do realize that you are the greatest receptacle of your own history, don’t you? Most people around you have only a surface idea of what your life is and has been all about. To some degree that’s simple privacy.
The problem with that comes when you fail to write your memoirs—your life story, your contribution to the family history. Memories fade. History gets lost. Before you know it, the next generations don’t have a clue about you. You basically become just another picture in the family album, if that.
What you have believed, experienced, and contributed throughout your lifetime is truly valuable. It is vitally important to leave your life story for others to see and to experience. The question is, Are you going to do something about it?
Memoirs: No One Knows Your Life But You
The truth is, no one knows you as well as you might think. Even those closest to you don’t know all the secret thoughts, feelings, fears, and joys residing inside your heart.
Your life story is such a valuable addition to your family history and far beyond. Your experiences in life and your way of encountering and processing them are unique. You and fifteen people may be in a place and experience an event. And when each person’s story is told, you will find sixteen unique expressions of what took place within that same event.
It is an interesting journey for you as you go through the process of writing your memoirs. As you work your way through it, so many memories will rekindle within your heart. Some are precious, others painful, but all come to together to tell your unique life story. Yield to the flow and express what comes forth.
The simple truth is, if you don’t do it, no one else will. There is not another person on the planet, however close to you they might be, with your personal vantage point. That’s just how it is.
Think about that. When someone writes a biography about another person, they might be able to interview that subject. The biographer will do research as deeply as possible. The life of that subject will be studied and analyzed. If he/she has written or produced work of some kind, that will be looked at in depth. Finally, when the writer has a good feel for that subject’s life and works, etc., the writing begins and the biography comes forth.
But as good a job as that biographer does, it is still not like reading that subject’s autobiography—his own life story from the inside out.
Memoirs: Choose To Share Your Life…For Real
Some of us are part of families that maintain pretty well-defined family history collections; others, maybe not so much. Then there is the vast number of families who have no clue about their history at all.
Writing your life story is a win-win situation regardless of which of these describes your family situation.
• Add to your already-existing family history.
• Piece together some of the missing family information through your own life story.
• Begin with yourself the new tradition of family history by writing your own memoirs.
It’s important to invite others around you to join you in the process. Everyone has a story to tell! So encourage other family members to share their story. Spread the concept to other families by encouraging your friends to do the same thing in their families.
What a remarkable legacy to not only share your life story, but to help others write theirs as well. This is a very worthy, interesting, and fun project to do!
My mother thoroughly enjoyed pulling together our family history on both sides of the family. There were challenges in doing the genealogy that she really liked.
For me, although the begats were interesting and created a wonderful generational record of the families, it wasn’t my favorite part. I really got into all the supporting documentation that Mother turned up.
She found copies of ship registries listing not only people, but the goods and furnishings with which they traveled. I read letters written from brother to brother during the American Civil War. One fought for the Union, the other stood with the Confederacy. One went home to his family, the other never returned.
Memoirs: 9 Benefits of Writing Yours
Each one of you has a unique reason and purpose in writing your life story. From wanting to add your part to the family history to desiring to write a great readable book and a thousand reasons in between—they’re all doable.
Here are just some of the benefits you can encounter when you write your memoirs.
1. Creates a unique gift to family and friends
2. Tells your life accurately from your own unique perspective
3. Brings additional closure to tough or hurtful events
4. Provides excellent writing practice, partly because the research is easy
5. Often deepens family bonds
6. Great sense of satisfaction
7. Often opens the door to other writing projects
8. Clears the air somehow, sharpens your perspective
9. Validates your life
Memoirs: It’s Up To You!
The bottom line is clear here. You do have a story. That’s a fact. And your story has the ability to add richness and more depth to yourself and to your family history.
It’s decision-time. That simple choice to step out and write your life story—that’s all that stops you from doing this wonderful thing!
You might be thinking, Yeah, but I’m too young to even think about that. I’m not finished living my life yet. I hear you. If you’re breathing right now, life is still unfolding for you!
But…I challenge you to think a new thought. Write your story in stages. A remarkable account of your life can be created when you decide to write your memoirs in pieces along the way.
• My growing up years
• Those twenties
• The thirty-somethings
• Oh my, forties
• My fifties…
• Weighty eighties
• Mighty fine nineties…
• Whew! hundred-and-tens!
Just think of the freshness and sharp memory that could be displayed in that series of writings! It would contain so much more than writing from that 110-year perspective. It would be difficult to look back over 11 decades and try to remember enough details from your teens or twenties to make your story come alive.
Nope, now is the time to start writing your life story while it’s fresh and still alive in your memories. Write it as a memoir; write it as a fiction piece. Choose your style and go!
I’m telling you, this is such a great way for some of you to start a new family tradition. That’s what I have in my heart as I finish writing this post today. This is a new thing! Come on! Jump in! You can do this!
I hope this has spoken to your heart today. And I hope it encourages you—or scratches on you—enough to get you up and writing!
I have family and friends quite dear to me who have passed away, some recently. Among the sadness I also find the feeling of loss that they left without leaving their story to posterity. I am aware of the void left by that, and I am more deeply committed to my belief: You have a story & it needs to be told.
Come on! Let’s do this thing!
Thank you & God Bless!
If you would like me to work with you as you write your story, please contact me so we can chat. I look forward to hearing from you.
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