Have you ever said, “If only I had asked my mother – or father, or grandmother, or grandfather – about that while they were alive.”? If you have, then you understand the importance of preserving your family’s legacy by collecting your reminiscences into a memoir.
A memoir is a personal account of your experiences, stories, or family history. Anyone can create a memoir. You need not have lived a dramatic or exciting life, had an eventful youth, or an eccentric family. Today, creating a memoir is as easy as speaking into a tape recorder, typing on a computer keyboard, photographing or filming your loved ones, or a combination of these. You can do it with, or without, formal publishing.
People often feel that the biggest challenge when producing a memoir is how to start, and how to decide which stories to tell. You can begin by tape-recording your ideas, and then easily transfer them to a written document. You can use personal journals, photo albums, films, or multimedia as a guide. The saying, “Once begun, it’s half-done”, applies to composing a memoir.
Reflecting about your life starts with an understanding of who you are now, or when you are at an age at which you know yourself well. It’s about creating a family legacy from your own personal life’s journey that has intrinsic emotional and historical value for your loved ones, rather than any financial gain attached.
There are as many different styles of memoirs as there are people. You can create a memoir about any experience, no matter how significant, or inconsequential, it may seem. For example, you can use a large perspective approach to describe the impact of your childhood on who you are today. Or, you can use smaller, more singular memories to tell your story. You can write about the places you have lived or visited. You can write about a particular person who influenced or mentored you, or about an injustice you endured. You can collect anecdotes about friends or loved ones. You can even use personal multimedia to film a documentary. Everyone has a life story awaiting translation to a memoir that can be the start of yours, or your family’s, personal legacy.
Remember, you need not be a professional to succeed at creating a memoir. Using personal effects and experiences, you can easily compose your memoir and create a lasting legacy, for yourself, your loved ones, and future generations, to cherish.