- A narrative composed from personal experience, an account of something noteworthy, the record of the proceedings of a learned society. Source: Merriam-Webster
- Each memoir is one story from a person’s life; you can write countless memoirs.
- Starts anywhere and can move around in time and place.
- Feels personal, less intense fact-checking than an autobiography.
- Usually, it is non-fiction but can be written as fiction.
- A detailed description of a person’s life.
- It involves more than just the basic facts like education, work, relationships, and death.
- It details a person’s experience of life events, highlighting various aspects of their life.
- An authorized biography is written by someone else with the permission, cooperation, and sometimes participation of the person being described.
- The story of an entire life that starts at the beginning and progresses chronologically to the end.
- Feels more like a historical document with facts, specific dates, and specific information.
- Written by the person themselves.
Personal History Essay
- A short and concise introduction about yourself.
- It can include cultural, social, academic, and some personal experiences.
Reasons to Write a Memoir
- To come to a fresh understanding of your life at an age when you think you know yourself.
- To thread related experiences in your life together.
- To create a legacy that has value for family and friends.
- To create a legacy for your business or organization.
Types of Memoirs
- Childhood experiences
- Family experiences
- Places you have visited
- Crime or injustices you have encountered
Possible Topics to Write About
Family and Friends
- Your siblings
- Your spouse or partner
- Falling in love
- Getting married
- Life together
- Getting divorced
- Getting remarried
- Your children
- Your closest friends
- Holidays or special times with family or friends
- Operations you’ve had
- Jobs you’ve had
- Education achieved
- Places you’ve lived
- Pets you’ve had
- Gardens you’ve grown
- Sports you’ve played
- Memberships in clubs or churches
- Automobiles you’ve had or transportation you’ve used
- Your hopes and dreams and how they have changed over the years
- Your impressions of the times, wars, developments, etc.
- Technological advances you’ve seen in your life
- Weather phenomenon you’ve seen or experienced
- Games you like to play and why they’re fun
- Time of year and why
Sources for Memoir Ideas
- Objects of nostalgia
- Old pictures
- Don’t begin writing your memoirs chronologically.
- Use all your senses in the memories.
- Let your emotions flow as you write.
- Be honest with yourself.