A woman stopped by to speak with me at a health fair, and after I explained what it means to write a memoir she exclaimed, “I'm much too young to think about writing my memoir. I’m in my 70s; memoirs are for old people!”
On the other end of the spectrum, a college student said she'd barely started out in life and would have nothing to write about. She went on to attend the My Life Stories Guided Memoir Writing Workshop I offer and by the second week she and the 82-year-old were fast friends, discovering common interests and discussing what had become of their dreams and how to still achieve them. Both went on to write dozens of pages that contributed to their memoirs.
So, when should you write your memoir? Anytime after you've been born and can communicate really. If you're between 10 and 110 years old and you have experienced youth, growing up, and growing older, you've got stories to share. Writing your life stories brings out sometimes buried tales of adventure, joy, overcoming, and everyday living that makes you who you are today. By writing them down you discover how to view life with value and worth.
A memoir, after all, is just a slice of life—a chapter or theme in your life that you choose to write about. Include what you want and leave out what you want, it's your story and you can write it just the way you want to be remembered. Memoirs are not autobiographical tomes of every event on life's timeline; they are boring to write and to read. Memoirs are frequently written about a significant event or a season in life that shaped you into the unique person you are today.
Why write it now?
There are dozens of reasons to write your life stories right now! Some do it for fun, sharing with and learning from others in a workshop, then make a book of it afterwards; others write for meaningful reflection; yet others want to preserve their stories for posterity – your life really is that interesting and your heirs will treasure the connection they have with you long after you are gone.
If not written down and preserved, your life story becomes forgotten in the busyness of life.
If you’ve read this far, you’ve probably come to the conclusion that now is the time to begin. Writing your life stories is fun at every age, so join me either one-on-one or in a workshop to begin the joy of discovering how wonderful your life really is to you and those around you.