“Each of us is a book waiting to be written, and that book, if written, results in a person explained.” ~Thomas M. Cirignano
Memoir Writing – Your Life is Your Legacy!
Have you ever wished you had asked your parents or grandparents more details about their lives? Maybe you wondered how they met or what it was like living in their generation. Perhaps you had questions about what gave them the most joy or sadness or about experiences that altered their lives.
Growing up, we are consumed with our own lives, and many of these questions go unasked and unanswered until it’s too late. Having this realization is one of the many reasons people decide to write their memoir.
Writing one’s life story used to be reserved for writers or for those who considered themselves such. But that has all changed. With self-publishing houses springing up and modern technology’s voice recognition devices, even those who don’t consider themselves writers can document their stories. It is even possible to have someone interview you on tape, have the tapes transcribed and edited, and then easily put your story into book form or a CD.
People have all different reasons for writing about their life.
One woman well into her 70’s and the youngest of eight sisters was writing her family stories. She was writing them down as fast as she could. As the only sisters who had yet to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, she was all too conscious of time ticking away. She wasn’t the best writer, but her stories were interesting and filled with humorous anecdotes about her parents as they raised eight girls under one roof in the cane fields of Hawaii in the early 1900’s.
A man who had no family left to enjoy his stories decided to write a historical memoir so that future generations would understand where they evolved.
A mother of four wrote short vignettes–each about one of her children as they were growing up–capturing captured all the stories she knew they’d love to hear. She planned to make copies of each and give them as gifts for the holidays.
Putting life stories into a tangible form is often life transforming for the writer. When we start to capture our past, from our present state of awareness we can more easily see our life events and our self from a new vantage point. Writing or getting our stories and thoughts down, helps us to see what was important to us and how decisions we made brought us to where we are today.
The hardest thing about getting your story down is deciding to do it. Once you’ve made that decision, the events you choose to write will flow from you like water from a faucet. Don’t worry about whether you’re a great writer or not. No one can tell your stories with the detail and perspective that you can. There are lots of ways to jog your memory if needed. Good friends, photographs, old songs, to name a few, can get you started.
Your personal stories are your legacy. Leaving them for your children and grandchildren will supply answers to questions they might not think to ask until it’s too late.
Jasmyne Boswell is an Author, Writing Teacher and Coach. For over 30 years she has been a midwife to individuals in all fields, helping them successfully overcome personal stumbling blocks and to birth their business and projects. She uses her intuitive sense, her gift with the written word, and her years of experience to help bring your ideas and aspirations into form. www.jasmyneconsulting.com