It took getting my degree in Creative Writing for me to realize how incredible the art of Memoir writing was.
It took no time at all however, to find out how cathartic and healing it is.
Memoir writing has changed my life. By taking the time to sit down with my past, and my family’s past, I have been able to unwind and unravel generational traumas into clear and rational strategies that could be implemented into my daily life and make lasting change.
My memories of my childhood and years as a teenager have often felt bold and clear in my mind, certain moments imprinted on my mind like a tattoo, but every time I have actually sat down with pen and paper and transcribed them, I have noticed, that often I missed something, or could see things just a little bit differently, from a different angle, or another persons point of view. When taking the time to describe and detail out a certain situation, it can illuminate something you had never been aware of before.
And self-awareness is key.
When we become aware of our fears, and how they were first formed, we can separate ourselves from them – make them something tangible and far less scary. Our fears will never go away, but we can learn to face them head on and stop choosing those fears over our truths. Our fear is not our truth. Our truth is love, and we must actively start noticing the difference and be open, willing, and surrendered to becoming who we have always meant to be.
Let me give you an example.
One of the first memoir essays I wrote in school was about my time in the military. It’s an essay called “Sawdust”. I went into detail describing my deployment to Iraq when I turned 21 one years old.
Throughout the writing process, as I described myself in certain situations and how I saw the world then, it quickly began dawning on me WHY I had felt the way I did at that time and place and helped me in the present moment to become more aware of what has truly happened within me. I re-witnessed the situation from a new era with bold clarity and it helped me become more compassionate for the woman I had been then, the others who were involved, and who I had become since.
You don’t need to be getting your degree in Creative Writing to experience this process. It is available to us all at any time. All you need is a pen and paper or your computer and a memory.
Beyond this, here are Five Reasons Why You Should Write Your Memoir:
- Healing and Transformation
Identify themes and patterns in your life to help make sense of negative thoughts and habits. Once you identify them, you are better equipped to control them. It can lead to forgiveness of yourself and others. It can transform your thoughts and feelings about yourself and the world.
- Contribute to History
Share your legacy with your family and friends. Your memoir could contribute to recorded history.
- Share Your Story – Be of Service
Help others with motivation and guidance by sharing the life lessons you have gained and your particular way of survival.
- Connect to Others
Through your memoir you will find that others are drawn to your story because it resonates with them. You will feel less alone and more connected to those around you.
- Be an Inspiration
Others will be inspired by your vulnerability and by all the things you have overcome. It can help others feel encouraged, comforted, and motivated to lead more honest and hopeful lives.