Why You Should Write Your Memoir
Memoirs are the best way to promote yourself. They can also be incredibly inspiring. They are typically written by people who are already famous, designed to share their ups and downs, revealing truths about their lives and inspiring readers with tales of courage, accomplishment, or faith. But what about the rest of us?
Are the stories of the relatively unsung heroes, moms, dads, and everyday people who are simply doing our best to stand out in a busy world worth sharing? Absolutely!
Everyone seems to want to know what makes people tick. Some want to discover how others got to where they are today. But most hard-working people, those who THINK they haven’t done anything worth writing about, are missing the point of a memoir.
When You Write Your Memoir, You’re Sharing a Gift
There is a special gift to be shared when you take the time to record your personal history for future generations to enjoy. A well-written memoir can capture time, culture, and relationships better than an old black-and-white photo can capture the essence of a bygone era. Start thinking about everything you could share when you finally write your memoir!
Maybe the thought of a blank screen staring back at you is too intimidating. I can assure you that once you start to recall important highs and lows of your life, memories will come rushing back. Events and your thoughts about them will take on new relevance. Readers, including your family, your children, and their children will marvel at all you’ve done.
Write Your Memoir and Control the Story
I can remember a few stories that my parents shared with me, but I’m left to my own imagination when it comes to fleshing out how events and relationships really played out. I wish I could read their personal history without having to guess or figure them out on my own.
My mother grew up with five siblings and a half-brother. She was born at the start of the Great Depression. Her father left her mother alone to raise a family during incredibly hard times that included WWII and rationing. When I watch old movies, I think about my mom’s family and what a struggle it must have been for grandma to put food on the table.
My father, on the other hand, who was also born at the start of the depression, grew up under very different circumstances. He had two brothers and was the middle child. His father was a distributor for Land O’ Lakes, so they grew up with plenty of butter and eggs on hand. I remember interviewing my dad for a report in school. He said that his father had told him, “Be glad I’m not a shoemaker or you’d be eating leather!” I got an A because I captured the essence of my father’s childhood with lines like that.
My parents were remarkable in their own ways. Still, I wish I knew more about their lives, including their childhoods and young adult lives. They got married when they’d barely turned twenty. Neither of them would believe they had a story worth sharing, but I’d love to know more. And when you write your story, you can control the flow of information. History has always been written by the winners!
I have a cousin who has six kids. While she might not think anything she’s done is “memoir-worthy,” I disagree. She’s been through a lot of ups and downs and I think her kids and grandkids would love to know more about her life – from childhood to today. She worked hard for thirty-two years, often working two jobs to support her family. This is the kind of story that makes for page-turning novels; imaging the memoir it would make! Think about your colleagues, family, and generations to come. What could you share about your life that would have meaning to them and others?
The Joy that Comes When You Write a Memoir
Earlier this year (2023), I coauthored a memoir with reality TV star, Tana Goertz. It was one of my favorite projects! Tana was a finalist on Season 3 of the original “The Apprentice” TV show, which aired in 2005. I was a huge fan of the show, so I had a thousand questions for her about every aspect of it. I couldn’t wait to read what Tana would write next. And her story about appearing on Fear Factor Reality Stars, I became incredibly impressed by her bravery! I encouraged her to share certain details and guided her about what to include in each story.
Her life story, to this point, was so much more than just her television appearances, as she’d left a bad marriage with two small kids and only the clothes on their backs. She had moved into her parents’ basement and had given herself just one year to get her life together as a single mom. She reached her goal in just seven months, when she and her kids moved into their own house. Her story will inspire everyone who reads it. Add to that the fact that 15 years later, she found her way into the political arena, and her memoir becomes a real page turner as she revealed what she liked and detested about Washington, D.C. and the entire political scene.
Even if you’re not a television star, a politician, or a celebrity, it’s important to document your life. If you’ve ever considered writing a memoir, reach out to me. I’d love to help you present your life in a dynamic and entertaining memoir.