Creative writing: memoirs
Creative writing isn’t only about writing stories or poetry; memoirs are another fantastic way of exploring your literary skills.
This style of writing draws heavily from your own personal experiences, making it a wonderful – and often cathartic – hobby.
Some people write their memoirs with the aim of eventual publication while others prefer to keep it as a creative exercise for themselves. Either way, there’s a lot of satisfaction to be had from telling your story in your own words. You may also like to pass your memoirs on to the younger generations in your family, allowing them an amazing insight into their own history.
Considering a memoir
Many people aren’t sure whether to write a memoir or not because they don’t think they have a particularly interesting story. However, this shouldn’t be a barrier to creativity. If you’re writing primarily for yourself and your family, you don’t need to worry about how exciting or unusual your story is. What’s more, if you’re a talented writer, even a very normal life can become exciting on the page – simply through your use of language. The Reader’s Digest has a lovely article about writing memoirs that emphasises the joys of leaving a legacy whether it’s for public consumption or private enjoyment.
That said, writing your memoir won’t necessarily be easy. Not only will you want to make sure you have the creative writing skills you need to do it justice, but you may also find yourself straying into very emotional territory. The BBC has some advice from bestselling writers Martin Amis and Lisa Appignanesi, who both confronted a number of difficulties when it came to exploring the past and getting it down on paper. While you may find it tough to relive some less than pleasant memories, you’re also likely to find that writing about them brings a new clarity.
Starting to write
One of the first things you should consider is whether you want to write about a specific period in your life or if you’d prefer to start at the beginning. You may need to do a lot of research into the things that were going on in the world when you were young and websites such as Social History Society can offer some very useful resources for getting started. It can also provide a nice opportunity for you to speak to any friends and family you have who were around at the time.
Memoir writing is a particularly interesting field to be working in, because it asks you to blend storytelling with fact. Don’t be afraid to dive in, simply start writing and remember that you can always make changes at a later date. That said, you may want to have a look at the Creative Penn’s top memoir mistakes so that you know what to look out for. If you’re looking for feedback or help with your writing, a writing group or class could be just what you need to kick-start your imagination. Your local library or community centre should be your first port of call.
Latest posts by Silversurfers Editor (see all)
- Win 1 of 5 copies of Classic Albums – Pet Sounds DVD featuring The Beach Boys! - January 20, 2017
- Could these be the world’s most comfortable shoes? - January 20, 2017
- Recreational cycling holidays in Tuscany - January 20, 2017
- 5 Ways to Make your Bedroom more Chic - January 20, 2017
- How would you solve the NHS crisis? - January 19, 2017
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!