You’re probably writing your memoir in order to provide your family with a written account of your life, which is part of their own personal history. Or you may hope to sell the memoir and make money, or to get it into stores and libraries so that it has a wider impact and people who’ve met the same challenges will have a voice. Either way, please also consider donating your memoir to the local historical society where you grew up or may still be living.
With that in mind, include memories of your surroundings and the events that shaped not only your life but the lives of those around you. Perhaps you witnessed a town’s only tornado, its big earthquake or the “snowstorm of the century.??? Maybe you remember the business district when it had just a handful of merchants, or you can picture farmland where a highway now runs. A colorful civic leader or resident may have made an impact on you. When you learned to drive, how much did it cost to fill up the tank at the gas station that still sits on the corner?
Your life represents a moment in time that we’ll never get back. The era’s good and bad are all worth documenting. As you write about your individual experiences, don’t forget that you’re part of a generation, a member of a society and a writer who has a fascinating story to tell not just about yourself, but about life as we knew it.