You believe in God or you don’t. You belong to an organized religious sect or your don’t. You are very observant, somewhat observant or not observant. How much of that do you put in your memoir? So many elements make up the person you are, and religion is one of them. So it’s understandable that religion has a role in many a memoir, but the reasons are all over the place:
- A chapter on your childhood may include your experience with religious education.
- Authors who write about difficulty, illness or trauma often explain how faith helped them through it.
- Your parents may be of two different religions, or you may have married someone of a different faith.
- If you rejected your family’s religion, then that, too, impacted your life and the choices you made.
- Anyone with a career in a religious field will have a lot of religious topics to write about.
Yet probably the most common reason to mention religion in a memoir is that so many memories revolve around religious traditions. Christmastime, for example, can remind you of anything from the magic of opening presents under the tree while still in your pajamas to the stress of all the expectations to the loneliness of being far from home during the holidays. A simple activity like stringing lights around a front door can launch a whole chapter that reveals much about your family life.
At this time of year, here at Write My Memoirs we’re thinking of you, our authors and perhaps future authors, making new memories and living new stories to fill in the text of your lives. We hope all of yours are happy and funny and touching.