If you’ve begun writing a memoir, you might have noticed that the process is revealing aspects of yourself and your past that you failed to recognize before.
It’s a little like assembling a jigsaw puzzle that you’re still seeking all the pieces to and slowly beginning to understand their relationship to one another.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, much of my writing is about work. I’ve had an enormously checkered work life; writing the memoir is forcing me to figure out the “whys” of much of it.
For example, when I first began working while I attended college, I was totally unprepared for the business world. It wasn’t until my memoir writing partner asked, “Why?” that I began digging into the reasons.
For one thing, I’d graduated from high school when I was only 16. For another I held an academic degree, so I didn’t know anything about office work—just about the only type of work that was available to women in the 1960s. I had been turned down for a job as a stewardess by a bemused woman who told me, “I’m very sorry, but we don’t hire Negroes.”
But there was more to it than that. It had something to do with the way I was reared—and the fact that my expectations and those of my parents for me were vague and conflicted. And that’s what I’ve been exploring.
When I teach writing to boomers and seniors, I encourage them to dig into their pasts to locate the truths beneath the myths we all grow up with.
That’s the best (though often unsettling) way to convey who we really are.
If you’d like help writing your life stories or memoirs, check out my Testimonials, then use the Contact tab to get in touch. I’m experienced and easy to work with, and my references are superb.