Continuing with our look at William Zinsser’s essay, “How to Write a Memoir,” I want to share with you Zinsser’s thoughts about publishing a memoir. At Write My Memoirs, we encourage you to publish your work in some form—but that does not have to be traditional book form. Zinsser says:
“When my father finished writing his histories he had them typed, mimeographed, and bound in a plastic cover. He gave a copy, personally inscribed, to each of his three daughters, to their husbands, to me, to my wife, and to his 15 grandchildren, some of whom couldn’t yet read. I like the fact that they all got their own copy; it recognized each of them as an equal partner in the family saga. How many of those grandchildren spent any time with the histories I have no idea. But I’ll bet some of them did, and I like to think that those 15 copies are now squirreled away somewhere in their houses from Maine to California, waiting for the next generation.”
Zinsser adds that being a memoirist doesn’t necessarily mean you aspire to being a “published author.” The memoir writing itself, he says, is valuable:
“Writing is a powerful search mechanism, and one of its satisfactions is that it allows you to come to terms with your life narrative. It also allows you to work through some of life’s hardest knocks—loss, grief, illness, addiction, disappointment, failure—and to find understanding and solace.” Very true!