Why Your Memoir is Good Enough

Why Your Memoir is Good Enough
Here on the WriteMyMemoirs blog, we talk a lot about how to craft a compelling memoir. We give general writing tips as well as targeted advice regarding what makes a really good memoir. But you know what? None of that necessarily applies to you.
Many of you are writing your autobiography not with the hope of scoring a best-seller, but really just to get down, digitally or on paper, a record of your life. You probably want your grandchildren to know about their ancestry and to preserve all of the fascinating tidbits that you know about your family. If you publish it at all, most likely you intend to print a small run so that you can hand out a couple of dozen copies to your friends and family. For those targeted readers, your memoir will be compelling, because they have a built-in interest in your story—either they’re part of it or they know people who are. That makes the reading very interesting!
So please don’t worry too much about whether your grammar is perfect or the structure meets the latest conventional wisdom about how to write a memoir. You don’t really need a focus. If you start at the beginning of your life and work your way through the anecdotes and important facts, that will be just fine. You’re not writing a textbook or a novel; you’re producing a highly personal manuscript documenting, in your authentic voice, the truth about your life.

Here on the WriteMyMemoirs blog, we talk a lot about how to craft a compelling memoir. We give general writing tips as well as targeted advice regarding what makes a really good memoir. But you know what? None of that necessarily applies to you.

Many of you are writing your autobiography not with the hope of scoring a best-seller, but really just to get down, digitally or on paper, a record of your life. You probably want your grandchildren to know about their ancestry and to preserve all of the fascinating tidbits that you know about your family. If you publish it at all, most likely you intend to print a small run so that you can hand out a couple of dozen copies to your friends and family. For those targeted readers, your memoir will be compelling, because they have a built-in interest in your story—either they’re part of it or they know people who are. That makes the reading very interesting!

So please don’t worry too much about whether your grammar is perfect or the structure meets the latest conventional wisdom about how to write a memoir. You don’t really need a focus. If you start at the beginning of your life and work your way through the anecdotes and important facts, that will be just fine. You’re not writing a textbook or a novel; you’re producing a highly personal manuscript documenting, in your authentic voice, the truth about your life.