Writing a Personal Memoir
One of the things many people want to do before they die is to write their life story or personal memoir. After all, once you are gone, all that will remain are the memories other people carry of you—your life as seen through someone else’s perspective.
If you would like to preserve something of your own viewpoint, the best way to do so is by writing a personal memoir or keeping a journal. By putting your life in your own words, you can ensure that your thoughts are preserved for the future, and give future generations a glimpse into their roots.
Of course, writing a memoir is not that easy to do. If you are not ready to tackle the idea of sitting down and putting your entire life into book form, here are a few shortcuts that can help you memorialize your life.
- Keep a Journal: A journal can be about anything you want. Thoughts and memories, daily activities, political rants…since this is a private book, there is no limit to what you can put into it. Get in the habit of updating at least once a week, and over the course of two years, you will have more than a hundred entries for posterity.
- Keep a Blog: The modern-day version of a journal, a blog, allows you to put your thoughts out into the open. A blog can be a good way to publish your memoirs since there is some accountability in writing for an active audience.
- Buy a Memoir Journal: There are specialty journals out there that ask you questions about your childhood and life as writing prompts. Instead of facing a blank page, you can start by filling in the easy questions (where were you born, how many siblings do you have) and going into more depth as you get comfortable.
- Make a Genealogy Chart: Family histories can be just as enlightening as a personal history. Take some time to chart your family’s history, and you may find it works as a great segue to your own memoirs.
- Interview Friends/Family Members: A large part of your story is linked to the story of the people who helped shape you. If you cannot think of anything about yourself you would like to say, try interviewing others and starting there. You may be surprised how their memories will help spark your own.
- Write a Book: Writing a book can take years (and even then, getting it published is another hurdle to tackle), but there is no better way to tell your story than by, well, telling your story. Focus on a major life point that changed everything for you and weave the book around that.
It is never too soon or too late to start writing your own personal memoir. Although this is a task many people pick up in their retirement years or while funeral planning (and therefore reflecting on life and death as a whole), every one of every age has an important story to tell.