Why I Write Memoir

I’d like to talk a little about how I got into memoir writing, and why I’m so passionate about it. Sort of a memoir manifesto, if you will.

I’m one of those writers who’s been writing since they can remember. A poem here, a story there. I started keeping journals when I was six, although my entries usually consisted of a few poorly spelled phrases like “Amy is my frend” and “I love spagetty” [sic].

I decided to write a memoir when I was 12 years old. What I had in mind was probably more of an autobiography since, at that age, I didn’t know what a memoir was. I wanted to write about growing up feeling different than other kids. I wanted to write about my friend who died and my parents’ divorce. I wanted to write about all the therapists I’d seen and the medications I’d already been on.

Eventually, I learned the word “memoir” and started reading them. This idea, which easily could have been yet another passing fantasy in my 12 year old mind (along with being a famous actress or a caterer), ended up sticking with me as the years went by. The idea also got me through a lot of the darkest times in my life. I knew that if I made it out of it, someday I’d be able to share my story with others.

I think memoir writing, whether it’s done for personal reasons or with the intention of publishing, is one of the most important and therapeutic things you can do. It allows you to sort through your memories and try to make some sense out of them. It gives you the chance to get on paper what you’ve been keeping locked away in your mind.

I have two goals for my memoir: to help others who have gone through some of the things I’ve gone through, and to help myself finally get it out and let it go.

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6 replies to “Why I Write Memoir”

  1. Emma says:

    Happy to find another memoirist! I always knew I wanted to write a book, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I felt like I HAD to write one.

    1. Alana says:Author

      I’m always happy to meet my fellow memoirists as well! Thanks for the comment 🙂

  2. Hi Alana,

    I’m in the Memoirs group with you for the Writers’ Platform Building Campaign. Like Emma, I always wanted to write, but fell off the wagon for a long time, and have only gotten back to it in the past year or so. I’m fairly obsessed with reading and writing these days, and I’m looking forward to getting to you know in the Campaign.

    East Bay Writer

    1. Alana says:Author

      Thanks for the comment! I’m looking forward to getting to know you as well.

  3. Very nice! 🙂 Glad I found you and will continue to check up on you! 🙂

    1. Alana says:Author

      Thanks! I’m glad you found my site as well. There aren’t a lot of young memoir writers out there 🙂

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