Writing Your Story #6 — Honesty

This is the sixth post on writing memoir:

There will be times when you will think you have nothing else to write.  Do not stop, but instead think about your ancestors while you write.  What do you wish you knew about them?  It should not surprise you to realize that the questions you have about your ancestors are the same questions future generations will have about you.

They will desire to know what it was like to grow up, whenever it was that you grew up.  They will wonder: what made you afraid; what made you feel brave; when  you were proud; and when you were ashamed.  Your story, your memoir, should tell what made you, “You”.  Be honest about how you felt.  If you tell your story from your own unique and personal viewpoint, the reader will respect you for your honesty.

Whenever possible try to tell your story from the perspective you had when the incident took place.  If you were young there might be limitations to what you knew.  If you are writing it as a story, try to limit the information presented to what you knew at the time.  You will have plenty of time later to write essays about how you grew past that limited knowledge.

Most important, while writing your memoirs be aware of the insights you discover about yourself along the way.

Keep on writing.


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