A lot of memoir authors worry that they have nothing new to add to the nonfiction literary category and will not have a unique memoir. At Write My Memoirs, we feel that concern is unnecessary. We assure you that your memoir will be unique! Here are five reasons.
- Your life is unique, so any chronicle of your life, by definition, will be unlike any other. You can think about the person closest to you—maybe a sibling, whose parents are the same as yours and who grew up in the same place as you, under at some points identical circumstances. And yet you know that your life has not mirrored any of your siblings’ lives. You are you—different from everyone else. Your story is yours alone.
- No other memoir includes your specific anecdotes. The aspect of your life on which you’re focusing is narrower than your full life, so you’ll be taking a close look at small incidents. Those various stories came together in your life but no other life. So much of life is happenstance. You happened to have met someone. It happened to have rained that day. Some pivotal event happened to have set your journey off on a new direction. It happened to you, but not to other people.
- Every relationship is different, and relationships are a big part of most memoirs. Even within your own set of relationships, each one has its own dynamic. As you write your memoir, keep that in mind and don’t minimize it. Think about the way you act around different people and how they’ve each influenced you and impacted your life. Don’t assume the reader has had the same relationship with a parent or a colleague or a friend that you have.
- Your surroundings are unique. From the time period to the location, your story is set against a background that will not replicate anyone else’s. You were the one born on your birthday, living in your home somewhere on the map and going through life as it was during that era at that spot.
- Your writing voice is unique. This is important! Two people can report on the same event, and the results will not be the same. Writing styles vary, and so do the choices of which facts, players and issues to include. The way you roll out a narrative is all your own. Like a vocal voice, a writer’s voice is special to each person.
So of all the concerns that might trip you up—finding the time to write, facing past traumatic incidents, fearing you’ll hurt people’s feelings with your candor—don’t worry that your memoir won’t be unique. There absolutely will be no other story like it.