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Writing your memoirs to bare witness

Updated: Jul 1, 2021

Can anyone really tell us or show us how to write our memoirs? Wouldn't the memoirist have poetic license to write which ever way they want? Doesn't creative writing give writers leeway to put down on black and white that which is their fancy? To me this is very important. I feel anyone can write memoirs and that memoirs should not have any specific rules except one: to tell the story of a memory. How to do that depends on our creativity, on our pain, on our joy.

Writing coach that I am, I would tell you to start wherever you want and see where it will lead. Then the next day start somewhere else and see where that leads. And so on. After a while of this, then perhaps you want to look at all the places you have been and where they took you on your journey. I would ten start to see what you left out and where you want to take the reader next. But that's one way of going about the task holistically.

My memoirs have not been published, Neither have they been completed. But the way I go about telling the stories is through this young girl between 8 and ten years old, What she sees and hears, what it looks like from where she stands, without judgment, that's what I write. There is no critique, no point to make, only to show is necessary, for my memoirs.

You can take a course in creative writing, even get an MFA, but you will still not know how to write memoirs. Just write, then revise, read your writing. But most importantly, get a writing coach to read it. Get a writing coach to help you listen to your own writing through a reader outside of yourself. You write for yourself and others to read and experience your pen. Surrender to your writing coach and you will survive the memoir.

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