Why should you write a memoir?
December 12, 2018
Your memories become a treasure trove of the moments that made you who you are.
There comes a time when almost everyone looks back, remembers the good, the bad, and the ugly of their existence and wonder if maybe they should tell the story of their life.
Don’t think about it.
Don’t ponder it.
Everything that has happened to you is memorable for someone else.
Your memoir may or may not ever be a best seller.
But your memories are valuable to your family.
For your children and grandchildren, in particular, those memories become a treasure trove of the moments that made you who you are.
When I wrote The Man Who Talks to Strangers, I dedicated the book to my grandchildren, who, I said, “may someday wonder where all the roads led.”
They led me from here to there, but only I knew the roads I took.
If you do decide a write a memoir, and I hope you do, just pay close attention to the advice from Ray Bradbury.
He got it right.
* Collect Experiences instead of Things. In a lifetime, we stuff ourselves with sounds, sights, smells, tastes, and textures of people, animals, landscapes, events, large and small. We stuff ourselves with these impressions and experiences and our reaction to them. These are the stuffs, the foods, on which The Muse grows.
* Make Lists. I began to make lists of titles, to put down long lines of nouns. These lists were the provocations, finally, that caused my better stuff to surface. I began to run through those lists, pick a noun, and then sit down to write a long prose-poem-essay on it. Somewhere along about the middle of the page, or perhaps the second page, the prose poem would turn into a story, which is to say that a character suddenly appeared … and the character would finish the tale for me.
* Write with Zest. If you are writing without zest, without gusto, without fun, you are only half a writer. For the first thing a writer should be is excited.
* Run Fast, Stand Still. What can we writers learn from lizards, lift from birds? In quickness is truth. The faster you blurt, the more swiftly you write, the more honest you are. In hesitation is thought.
* Don’t Think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.
* Love is the Answer. Love is the only reason to do anything. If you don’t write stories you love, you’ll never make it. If you don’t write stories that other people love, you’ll never make it.
* Write for Kids. Do you know why teachers use me? Because I speak in tongues. I write metaphors. Every one of my stories is a metaphor you can remember. The great religions are all metaphors. We appreciate things like Daniel and the lion’s den and the Tower of Babel. People remember these metaphors because they are so vivid you can’t get free of them, and that’s what kids like in school. Others wrote in metaphors: Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne. All these people wrote for children. They may have pretended not to, but they did.
Please click HERE to find The Man Who Talks to Strangers on Amazon.