Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

Every ordinary life story is extraordinary!

Why Do People Write Memoirs?

Person leaving footprints in the sand on a beach

Facebook has several memoir groups, and on one of them a member posted the question, “What is the primary reason for writing your memoir?” Quite a few people responded in the comments.

Memoir as a Family Legacy

Some reflected the thoughts of many of our Write My Memoirs members—to write a memoir, as one commenter put it, simply for “posterity.” Another person hoped her memoir would become a “family heirloom.” She noted, “If I never amass a fortune to bequeath, at least I will be able to share my story.” Similarly, someone said she was writing her memoir “for my kids and grandkids to have a record of me should they someday want to read it.”

Memoir to Honor Someone Close

Some memoirs have the theme of capturing the life of someone who had a significant impact on the memoir author. The memoirist may intend to honor a parent, mourn a child who died young, or maybe relate the story of a great friendship or marriage.

In the comments on the Facebook post, someone wrote about writing her memoir to bring awareness to deaths from Agent Orange. Her husband was a sailor in the US Navy who died from the effects of the chemical. Another said her memoir commemorated the short life of her sister, who died at 19, and someone else said she was documenting all the good advice from her mother.

Memoir to Serve as a Note of Caution

One typical reason people write memoirs is to help readers learn from the author’s mistakes or warn them about dangers the author encountered. A number of responses fell along this theme.

One commenter said she was writing her memoir to help people who have been shunned by their families. Her family shunned her after she left what she calls a religious cult. Another person wanted to caution people about “medical gaslighting” and the medical community not believing you when you describe symptoms. Yet another person had addicts for parents and crafted her memoir to offer ways to break the cycle of addiction.

Memoir to Heal, Share and Reflect

Many lives are infused with humor and interesting anecdotes, and if you’re sharing those stories you might as well compile them into a memoir. One commenter had 30 snippets of stories she’d written over the years, so she went through them and laced them together. Another wanted to relate her quirky tales from being a lesbian southern belle. One said he simply wanted “to tell the world my fascinating story,” while another wanted to write about his “unusual existence.”

One commenter wanted to write her memoir before it was too late. “I feel the need to tell my story for future generations,” she said. “As a child during the Cold War, I was part of an exodus of unaccompanied children from Cuba fleeing Communism….We are elderly now. If we don’t write about it our stories will die with us.”

A couple of commenters mentioned writing as a way to heal; memoirs are well known to help people heal from trauma or work through grief. One commenter said she was motivated “for self-healing and to share life experiences.” Another said sharing her life story was “nothing short of transformation, for myself and others.”

For some people, writing a book is a goal. One commenter said she wrote her memoir “to prove I could do it. I first dreamt about publishing a book when I was a little girl.”

And for people who are natural writers, a memoir is an obvious task. “I write because writers can’t not write,” one commenter remarked. “And I write my story because I believe we all have stories that matter.” At Write My Memoirs, we agree with that!

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Then just set up a chapter and start writing your memoir. Don’t worry about rules. There are no rules to writing your memoir; there are only trends. These trends are based on techniques and features identified in current top-selling memoirs. At best, they’re the flavor of the month. If you’re capturing your life in print for your family, for your own gratification or to inspire readers, rather than aiming to set off Hollywood screenplay bidding wars, these trends don’t even apply to you. You’ll write the memoir that suits you best, and it will be timeless, not trend-driven.There are no rules, but there are four steps:

1. Theme/framework
2. Writing
3. Editing/polishing
4. Self-publishing

You’ve researched this, too, and you’ve been shocked at the price for getting help with any one of those steps, much less all four. That’s because most memoir sites promise to commercialize your work. They’ll follow a formula based on current memoir trends, because they want to convince you that they can turn your memoir into a best-seller. These sites overwhelm you with unnecessary information not to help you, the memoir author, but to address Search Engine Optimization (SEO) algorithms so they can sell more.

That’s not what we do at Write My Memoirs. Our small community of coaches, writers and editors are every bit as skilled as any you’ll find, and we charge appropriately for their expertise and the time they’ll spend helping you craft a compelling, enjoyable read. But you won’t pay an upcharge for other websites’ commercialization, the marketing that follows, and the pages of intimidating “advice.” You can sell your book if you like—we have ISBNs available for you—but our organic process of capturing your story takes a noncommercial path.

If you want help with any or all of the four steps above, choose from our services or save money by selecting one of our packages. If you’d like to talk about what’s right for you, schedule a call. One year from now, you can be holding your published memoir in your hand. And at that point, it will be a big deal!