Continuing to share with you an essay I found helpful called, appropriately, “How to Write a Memoir,” here’s what author William Zinsser says about his dad’s only attempt at writing:
“Not being a writer, my father never worried about finding his ‘style.’ He just wrote the way he talked, and now, when I read his sentences, I hear his personality and his humor, his idioms and his usages, many of them an echo of his college years in the early 1900s. I also hear his honesty. He wasn’t sentimental about blood ties, and I smile at his terse appraisals of Uncle X, ‘a second-rater,’ or Cousin Y, who ‘never amounted to much.’”
An accomplished writer and the author of On Writing Well, Zinsser realizes that it’s that very amateurish “voice” that brings all of the charm to his father’s work: “It now occurs to me that my father, who didn’t try to be a writer, was a more natural writer than I am, with my constant fiddling and fussing. Be yourself and your readers will follow you anywhere. Try to commit an act of writing and your readers will jump overboard to get away. Your product is you. The crucial transaction in memoir and personal history is the transaction between you and your remembered experiences and emotions.”
That, WriteMyMemoir members, is great advice!