Tired of being quarantined? Fearful of being released to socialize (regardless of the distance)? Let’s do something about it!
I am passionate about memoirs. Memoirs provide an outlet to examine situations and surroundings that may have caused our anxieties and fears. Memoirs are verbal photographs that depict a time or event that created the person we are today. Memoirs record places, people, and events that have led to our existence and, therefore, the existence of each generation that follows.
You may be saying that you have no story to tell or you don’t remember exactly what happened. A memoir does not require absolute facts about the entirety of your life but a narrative of your truest memory. It is not intended to be a complete historical accounting, but a journal of a specific memory. It is an abbreviation of the past, which recalls hopes, dreams, wishes; conflicts, conquests; events such as the moon landing, Kennedy’s assassination, Woodstock, Covid-19, and riots for racial justice.
So where do you start? I recommend starting with a timeline. As you make a timeline, memoir-worthy events will emerge: that is, perhaps, meeting your soulmate or recalling a year when nine relatives/close friends passed away. As you continue to add items to your timeline, the one event you want to write about will emerge.
Once you have chosen a significant event in your life—or it has chosen you—explore your feelings, your values, your thoughts, your takeaways at the time. Recognize your achievements, your goals, your personal growth. Most of all—Have fun!
Once you get this far, it may be difficult to continue. Trust me. I’ve been there. The experts I rely on, though, have convinced me that outlines are necessary. Often, I am resistant to creating one, but I have found that an outline is vital, as it keeps me focused and moving forward. I also have found that writing long-hand in a nice journal or notebook keeps the creative juices and memories flowing. Via this device, I explore my feelings as I felt them during the event. I focus on my senses—colors, sounds, textures, smells—which, once written, create an engaging account of events for the reader.
So here’s your first action step: Create a timeline of your life. Simple (not easy), right? Through the week, keep me posted on your strategies to keep going. Do you have a next step planned? What have you learned about your writing? yourself? What obstacles did you face? did you overcome?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Next week, we’ll work on step two. Until then, let’s do it!