But then, thinking about chronicling the past 60, 70, or even 80 years of your life can be a daunting thought.
You might feel that it would be easier to jog to the top of Mount Everest in 4 hours than it would be to write about your life.
Don’t despair! It can be easier than you think.
Much easier. (And a WHOLE lot easier than jogging up Mount Everest! Trust me.)
Roberta Temes’ book How to Write a Memoir in 30 Days is the way to go for writing your memoirs. In fact, in my humble opinion, it is the ONLY way to go! Lemme tell you why.
First, I want to get something straight. If you’re like me, you might think that a memoir is a chronological narrative of your life starting from the day you were born up until when you started writing.
You might think you have to tell about things like when you first rolled over, got your first tooth, started crawling, when you learned to walk, when you said your first word, and when you got potty trained.
That’s not so.
A chronology like that is an autobiography. A memoir is an emotional reminiscence of your reaction to a few events that occurred to you. It could just be the story of how you fell in love with music and with playing the organ and how you had the opportunity to play the pipe organ at the Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. It could be your experience surviving an earthquake. It could be your story of surviving a life threatening illness.
A memoir covers only a few years. It is your emotional reminiscence of a specific time in your life or of an experience that you had.
(Thanks, Roberta, for that clarification! That is tremendously freeing to know that.)
Phew! So writing your memoir is more of a jog around the blog than climbing Mount Everest. It’s easily within your reach. You can do it — especially with the help of Temes’ book.
I like that there is a different writing prompt for each day. Temes gives you questions to ponder, circumstances to choose from, personal issues to consider. With her guidance, you can easily decide what to write about. And, by day 23, you have a rough draft of your memoir. For the last 7 days, you tweak your writing until by the end of the 30th day your memoir is written.
Huzzah! You did it! Pat yourself on the back and go out to a swanky restaurant for some fine dining. You deserve it. (I’d go to the Olive Garden because I love their bread sticks and lemon cake dessert.)
But wait! What if you feel that you’ve written something that is print worthy? That a publisher would be willing to publish?
Not to worry. In the short appendix (it’s only ten pages long), Temes tells you what you need to do to find a publisher or to self publish. She just lists the steps. She doesn’t give any in-depth information. You’ll have to go elsewhere to get that.
If you want to write about your life, this book is the way to go. I predict that you won’t get discouraged in the writing process. You won’t be overwhelmed. You won’t feel like shoving your work in the bottom drawer of your desk and forgetting all about it.
You’ll just be successful.
I give this book two thumbs up.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for my review. It did not in any way influence my opinion of it.