18 Comments

  1. I just finished writing my memoir. It took me two and a half years. I agree with Koren Zailckas (I love her memoir Mother, Mother) that “as a memoirist you have to crack your head open and examine very uncomfortable thing[s],” however after I went through that process, I did find it cathartic. “Remembering is painful but we can’t heal from what we don’t feel.” I love this because a lot of times, we’ve become numb but memoir helps us to feel again. And with feeling comes healing which is what memoir is about–healing. Thank you for sharing this lovely post.

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  2. Great post! I’m writing a memoir so everything here resonated with me. One other thing though – I can’t read any of the comments with the grey background, as much as I would like to. The white letters don’t show up on my phone amidst the grey backdrop.

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      1. Same to you! I’ve been writing it for years, but I’ve been too afraid of the shadows to really delve in. Now I know why. I wasn’t ready. I wrote myself in as a distant observer versus a participant. Needed a perspective shift. Deep sigh. So I’m ready now.

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        1. Miss Ruth Author

          I can so relate to the writing-as-if-a-distant-observer issue. It’s something I’m going to eventually post about because it was so frustrating! I think it arises as a kind of coping technique – it keeps the real impact of the memories or emotions at a distance, preventing you from really delving into them. But I’ve never had a term to describe it until today, so thank you for that 🙂
          (I made a color adjustment; you should be able to read the other comments now, albeit faintly. This color scheme has its downsides…)

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  3. Marilyn L. Davis

    Excellent information about the process of memoir and the feelings/thoughts associated while writing. .Living through the experiences is sometimes the only thing we have to remember when we’re retelling the events. Those constant reminders that I survived, grew or learned valuable lessons are what has kept me writing and it’s on the final edit. I’m smiling as I make that bold statement. We’ll just call it that for the time being.

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    1. Miss Ruth Author

      Congratulations, that is AMAZING! I am so glad you enjoyed the article, and I agree on the things that keep you writing. For me, a large part of it was for my brothers, two of whom died. To think that their stories could be forgotten is a possibility I cannot live with. Also remembering the things that my family came out of kept me going. Thanks for sharing! I’m so happy that your story is soon to be shared with the world!

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  4. Excellent post. I’ve never thought to write my memoir, though I have been a faithful journal keeper for years. This post reminds me that good writing takes that extra step–research, which I so often let go.

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    1. Ruth, Writer Author

      I think journal-keeping is an underappreciated art form. If you ever DO consider writing a memoir, you’ll have a large set of skills – and pages of usable content – to work with. And I also struggle with the research side of things. It can be tedious but it gives edge to your writing and credibility.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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