Original Interviews Can Help You Write Memoirs

When I write my memoirs I plan to mix personal reflection and research with original interviews. I suggest you do this as well. You don’t have to interview everyone you’ve ever known, but I bet you’ll get some great material for inclusion in your life story if you talk to even a few of the people who have influenced you or impacted the direction that your life has taken.

If your parents are alive, get them to a tape or video recorder immediately! They will prove to be rich sources of information about your early life. An aunt, uncle, older neighbor or family friend can substitute or supplement if necessary. How about a teacher or professor? Even if he or she doesn’t remember much about you as a student, a teacher can describe the educational practices of the time and save you hours in the library or on the Internet, especially since the information will relate to the school you actually attended.

Your best friend while growing up, coming of age or during adulthood can lend yet a different perspective, as can a spouse. Even your children will be helpful in providing a vantage point that, by definition, you are incapable of having yourself. In rehashing old stories, my kids often serve up insight that reflects on my parenting. Sometimes their younger minds recall details that have not stuck with me. The simple interview can be enlightening as you write your memoirs and fill a lot of factual holes!