Why should you write a Memoir?

Graham Greene believed there is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.

 A life lived is a story that should be told.

More than once I was told that I should write a Memoir.

But my life’s not interesting, I said.

Doesn’t matter, they said.

Why not, I asked.

The people you’ve met during your days as a police reporter and our travels as travel editor for Southern Living Magazine had fascinating lives.

Some were famous.

Some were unknown.

But none had lives that should be forgotten.

So I wr0te The Man Who Talks to Strangers.

And when I finished, I still had a pile of stories left over, so I wrote them for Confessions from the Road.

I discovered one simple truth.

Memoir is history.

Memoir happens when you slow down long enough to let the past catch up with you.

Why should you write one?

We all have our own reasons.

And these are why so many wonderful authors decided to tell their stories.

  1. The memoirs that have come out of Africa are sometimes startlingly beautiful, often urgent, and essentially life-affirming, but they are all performances of courage and honesty. ~Alexandra Fuller 


  1. I have more freedom when I write fiction, but my memoirs have had a much stronger impact on my readers. Somehow the ‘message,’ even if I am not even aware that there is one, is conveyed better in this form. ~Isabel Allende


  1. You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better. ~Anne Lamott


  1. I love all insider memoirs. It doesn’t matter whether it’s truck-drivers or doctors. I think everybody likes to go backstage, find out what people think and what they talk about and what specialized job they have. ~David Mamet


  1. There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in. ~Graham Greene


  1. Memoir isn’t the summary of a life; it’s a window into a life, very much like a photograph in its selective composition. It may look like a casual and even random calling up of bygone events. It’s not; it’s a deliberate construction. ~William Zinsser


  1. I gather together the dreams, fantasies, experiences that preoccupied me as a girl, that stay with me and appear and reappear in different shapes and forms in all my work. Without telling everything that happened, they document all that remains most vivid. ~Bell Hooks


  1. I believe that the memoir is the novel of the 21st century; it’s an amazing form that we haven’t even begun to tap…we’re just getting started figuring out what the rules are. ~Susan Cheever


  1. The past is never dead. It’s not even past. ~William Faulkner


  • Actually, the true story of a person’s life can never be written. It is beyond the power of literature. The full tale of any life would be both utterly boring and utterly unbelievable. ~Isaac Bashevis Singer


  • Each of us is a book waiting to be written, and that book, if written, results in a person explained. ~Thomas M. Cirignano

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