Your Life is a Book. The very act of writing the story of your life whether for yourself, your family and friends or for any reading eye, is significant.
Where to begin? How will you capture those Shimmering Images in words that evoke the feelings, the meaning and importance of long ago moments? How do you go about Handling the Truth as you see it? What key elements of The Situation and the Story of your life do you write in or cross out?
Considerable thought is required in deciding how you will approach the writing of your memoir. Of course, you intend to share your life experiences, your personal history and leave a record for future generations. What is most important to say? That’s just the beginning, however. What “voice” or voices will carry the story from beginning to end? What tone, like an undercurrent will carry a reader from page to page? Your words will live long after you’re gone. You want them to have a lasting effect. Your life has had a lasting effect on you.
Writing reveals. Writing provides an excellent opportunity for gaining understanding and insight into your life journey. Maybe no one else will read what you have written but you and a select few.
Either way, public or private, Memoir Writing provides an opportunity for gaining perspective. We know, in the story’s world, it is not just about the telling but how the tale is told that captures a reader. This, frankly, will be the hardest part, putting the voice of your Old Friend From Far Away on a page and infusing that language with characteristics beyond simple reportage.
Hence, the art of The Art of Memoir. Bear with me, you, perhaps, do not think of yourself as an artist but it is important to find your way into the voice on the page. This voice needs to have the particular rhythms and manners of expression necessary to accomplishing its most important duty, to deliver a memorable account of a life.
Think of all the variations of tone and timbre in music. Think of the chorus of vocalizations that surround you in a crowded room, every voice unique to the resonance of its body. If you raise your voice, heads will turn. You want pages to turn, heads to bow and a mind to listen because it hears your voice coming through.
The story is yours, alone, to tell but you don’t have to be alone in the telling. For sure, there’s a whole lot of talking going on (and writing, too.) That’s because the resource list Write On!: A Story Only You Can Tell, Writing a Memoir is full of voices bringing fresh perspectives, helpful advice and guidance as you chart your course and work your way through one of the most important books you’ll, ever, read.
This is part of a multi-part series. Catch up with other posts: Write on!: The Very Personal Journey of Keeping a Journal; Write On! Nonfiction Writing Informs the World; Write On! A Story Only You Can Tell, Writing a Memoir; Write On! Crafting the Novel, Creating Imaginary Lives; and The Last Note Begins with See Sharp: On Transforming Your Thoughts Into Poetry.
~ posted by Chris