Memoirs are a popular form of literature, offering readers a chance to glimpse into the lives of others, understand different perspectives, and gain insights that can transform their lives.
For example, memoirs like McCourt’s “Angela’s Ashes,” Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast,” and Gilbert's “Eat, Pray, Love” remain inspiring classics. They are becoming more popular than ever, growing 26% in sales revenue over the last five years - more than non-fiction books!
A memoirist or a memorialist is a person who writes a memoir. However, it’s essential to distinguish memoirs from autobiographies. Autobiographies narrate the story "of a life," but a memoir often relates the story of a specific career, event, or time in the author's life, such as touchstone moments.
If you're thinking of writing a memoir, but are unsure where to start, don’t fret! My Stories Matter gives you four memoir ideas to get you started.
Focus on a Significant Event
This could be tragedy or triumph, achieving a personal goal, or overcoming an obstacle. If you experienced a significant illness or injury, you could write about how that event impacted your life and how you coped with the changes. Or, if you faced a challenge, such as overcoming addiction or going through a divorce, you could write about what you learned from the experience.
Despite what you might think, writing about adverse events has a positive effect! Telling the story of a past negative incident or continuing anxiety "frees up" cognitive resources.
The same goes for “positive expressive writing.” According to one study, a three-day course of "positive expressive writing," which involved writing about positive events, reduced anxiety immediately after writing and improved work-related well-being and job satisfaction four weeks later! Journaling, memoirs, and poetry are all examples of expressive writing.
Explore Your Roots
Exploring your roots means delving into your family history, cultural background, and childhood experiences. This can be a great way to uncover stories and experiences that have shaped your life and helped you become the person you are today.
Did your grandparents have a difficult journey coming to America? Was there a pivotal moment in your childhood that shaped your worldview? What was your relationship with your parents and siblings like?
Write About a Relationship
Writing about a relationship, whether it's a romantic relationship, a friendship, or a relationship with a family member, can be a powerful way to explore the dynamics of human connections.
Was there a romantic relationship that taught you about love and trust? Or a friendship that ended in betrayal? You could also write about a complicated relationship with a family member and how that impacted your life or explore the bonds with your childhood friends.
Explore a Passion or Hobby
Did you love painting or playing an instrument growing up? Is there a passion that inspires you? Write about how that passion has influenced your life.
Contrary to popular opinion, there isn’t one single passion for everybody. Some people enjoy many hobbies, and no hobby is too small or insignificant if it gives you comfort. The best thing you can do is listen to what motivates you, then write about it.
Write Your Memoir on My Stories Matter
My Stories Matter's editing and organizing features make revising and perfecting your memoir easy! For example, take advantage of our assisted writing feature, WritingHelper, where a writer can assist you by asking questions and composing your responses into a narrative while correcting grammar and spelling. This can help you expand your ideas and develop a deeper understanding of the story you want to tell.
You can also add multimedia content, such as photos and videos, allowing you to explore different formats for your memoir.
Don’t forget to invite friends and family to share their memories and perspectives! This can add a new layer of depth to your ideas for a memoir and make it a truly collaborative effort.
Sign up for free at My Stories Matter today, and happy writing!