Yes, Finishing Your Memoir Really Is Important!
It’s natural to question things. Sometimes we even question ourselves. Does it really matter if we finish writing our memoir? Well, here are three good reasons to keep going!
First, of course, your memoir matters to you. After all, something stirred you to begin writing in the first place. Whatever that ache is, it will still be there, nagging at you, if you don’t persevere. But it’s not just guilt that should motivate you – there’s a huge dividend for continuing to write! Memoir allows you the chance to revisit the good times. To hear long-lost voices. To see places that exist, now, only in your memory. And as for those not-so-good memories, it’s a valuable way to process what happened and to cherish the lessons you took away.
Second, your memoir also matters to the people that you love. Chances are, they’ve never heard your whole story. Bits and pieces, maybe. But often there are big chunks we simply never talk about. How special for loved ones to learn more about the years before they met you, and how you got to be the person you are now.
Writing your story down also matters to history. That sounds a bit grandiose, but it’s true. Only you have lived your unique life. Your experiences may seem common or ordinary to you – but in another hundred years, readers may well find them astonishing.
Here’s a few quick examples of what I mean: I once interviewed a woman in her late 80s, describing her daily life on a ranch. “It was nothing special,” she said, before going on to explain what it was like to cook for a dozen men on a wood-fired stove. A mountain man once described to me the method he used to dig irrigation ditches to ensure the water would flow exactly where he wanted. And in my own family, a woman who’d lost her husband and had three young children to raise described confronting her boss to demand the chance to work on commission in a profession with no women, at the time. Those are all simple stories – but wouldn’t you love a chance to hear them?!
So yes, finishing your memoir matters – to you, for your loved ones, for the future. I hope you’ll set aside just fifteen minutes to write your precious stories down – today!