The Lifewriter’s Digest offers “Who is Writing Your Memoirs”, an interesting twist on thinking about writing your memoirs and autobiography.
The same internal debate occurs as you writing your memoirs. You have many parts vying for authorship of your memoir, each insisting on setting the tone and theme of your story. Which part is going to prevail-are you going to let prevail? Will it be the hero? (“I survived against great odds!”) Or, the martyr? (“Life was really hard, and I just did my best!”) Or, perhaps it’s the saint? (“I just did the whole thing because I loved my family so much!”) Or, the slugger, the fighter of city hall? (“Nobody was going to tell me I couldn’t get my way!”)
Obviously, the martyr part will give a different slant to your story than will the hero part and perhaps the martyr might even choose completely different stories to write about than the hero. Which part you allow to be the narrative voice of your story will shape the message (theme) you ultimately make-and it’s completely up to you to decide!
Excellent point. Which “you” is dictating the content as well as the style and tone? Or are you writing to cover everyone among the many “yous”?
If you are writing your memoirs or autobiography, give this serious thought. Make the effort conscious. Decide who you will be for the entire book, not just the parts that make you look good.
The same applies for writing about your ancestors. Are you writing about them to make them heroes or villains or maybe even victims? How is your slant on their life impacting the way you write about them?
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