Memoir writing, gathering words onto pieces of paper, helps me shape my life to a manageable size. By discovering plot, arc, theme, and metaphor, I offer my life an organization, a frame, which would be otherwise unseen, unknown. Memoir creates a narrative, a life story. Writing my life is a gift I give to myself. To write is to be constantly reborn. On one page I understand this about myself. On the next page, I understand that.
~ from Sue William Silverman’s Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir (U of Georgia, 2009)
If you’ve been contemplating the writing of your own life story, this observation by Sue Silverman may convince you to start. The effort it takes to craft the work is more than amply rewarded by seeing your life, often for the first time, as a coherent and intricate pattern.
Photo by Colin Campbell