If you’re a memoir writer, you’ll find some gems in this week’s Monday’s Link Roundup. My favorite, Just enough about me, is a charming first-person account of an 80-year-old woman’s experience at writing her self-published memoir. And don’t miss The meaning of memoir. The author argues that memoirs are still of importance in today’s Facebook and Twitter universe.
- Writing Memoir, Quotes, and Books. “Working on my memoir, I’ve turned to many, many (many many, too many) books with tips on how to get started, organized, and inspired. I also read a lot of what other authors say about the process and will share quotes here, as well.”
- The Legend Library: A video record of our theatrical legends. “This series of exclusive video interviews is one of our most important initiatives, capturing the stories of our theatrical legends. Conducted by actor/director RH Thomson, these comprehensive interviews will preserve our [Canadian] theatrical heritage for generations to come.”
- Just enough about me. “It was a Sunday in May, 2010, and I was two-finger-pecking at the keyboard on my computer, composing another anecdote for my memoir, which I hoped to self-publish in time for my 80th birthday in May, 2011.”
- Milestone Memories. “I’ve been thinking about milestone’s a lot recently. Late May through early July is major milestone season for my family and me. I graduated from high school on May 28. and began my first job on June 5, which was also the day I first met the man I married a year later…Milestone moments deserve to be celebrated and commemorated. Many call for celebration in person with others. All are compelling story topics on their own merits.”
- The meaning of memoir. “Even in an age of tweets and Facebook posts and personal websites and talk-show bookings, there are things only a memoir — a sustained written meditation on an individual experience — can do. In his introduction to “Memoirs” (1972) by W.B. Yeats, Denis Donoghue wrote that Yeats “is not given to the intrinsic pleasure of confession, he is concerned with the meaning of a life, not with its mere content.”
- Day One Stories. “In 2011, hundreds of people across the country were asked to photograph their first day of retirement. These photos and the accompanying documentaries capture a moment of transition in a life.”
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Posted in Monday's Link Roundup
Tagged books, Canada, celebrate, Day One, Denis Donoghue, Facebook, How to, memoir, memories, milestones, oral history, quote, retirement stories, retreats, The Legend Library, theatrical legends, Tips, Twitter, W. B. Yeats, Writing
To climb steep hills requires a slow pace at first.
- William Shakespeare
Sometimes when we look at the work involved in telling our life story or that of another, we can become overwhelmed. It seems too monumental and so we give up before we ever get started. I’m a great believer in starting slow. Don’t feel you have to rush into a life story and have it completed in a week or two. You might begin by reading some useful books on how to write a life story. I wrote a previous post,The Ten Best Selling Books on Life Story Writing, which you can find by clicking here.
You might start by writing little sketches as Anna Mary Moses did in her wonderful autobiography, Grandma Moses: My Life’s Story. She said, “I have written my life in small sketches, a little today, a little yesterday, as I have thought of it, as I remember all the things from childhood on through the years, good ones, and unpleasant ones, that is how they come out and that is how we have to take them.”
The other piece of advice I have is that you set aside some time each day to write. It doesn’t have to be much time, perhaps a half-hour. What’s important is that you develop the habit of sitting down to write each day.
Good luck with your writing. Tell me any other approaches you’ve used for starting slow.
Photo by Stan Hieronymus
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If you don’t know your history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.
Michael Crichton - (1942 – 2008) American author, producer, director, screenwriter and physician
We live in a world that prizes speed, innovation, newness and youth. We’re constantly looking forward. And in the process we’ve become strangers to our past. We’ve either never heard our family stories or forgotten many of them. We pay a price for this. We feel rootless, unconnected and at our deepest core anxious and unhappy.
Recording and preserving our stories is not some flight of nostalgia. It is in fact a determined act to reclaim our history.
Photo by justneal
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If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.
Pearl S. Buck – (1892-1973) American writer
Preparing our personal history offers us the opportunity to look back on all our yesterdays. By doing so, we come to see more clearly how we got to where we are, the values that have inspired us along the way and what wisdom we’ve accumulated. A clearer understanding of our past helps us better navigate our future course.
Photo by Markus M.
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Anyone who’s fortunate enough to live to be 50 years old should take some time, even if it’s just a couple of weekends, to sit down and write the story of your life, even if it’s only twenty pages, and even if it’s only for your children and grandchildren.
~ former President Bill Clinton
Clinton’s point that you don’t have to write your life story in epic form is a good one. Some people become immobilized by the overwhelming thought that they have to write at least a 200-page masterpiece and so nothing gets written. The truth is that anything you can put down is better than nothing.
Photo by Eve
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Posted in Ancestors, Life stories, Preservation, Quotes, Writing
Tagged Ancestors, Dr. Barry Baines, Great Grandparents, life story, Preservation, quote, remembering