Memoirs are not the same as autobiographies. They feature individuals writing about themselves, but not the story of their whole lives like an an autobiography; instead, a narrative of a period or moment or “season” of a persons life. Some writers have written several memoirs such as Diane Keaton or Jeanette Walls.
We Love Memoirs is a Facebook Group begun by Victoria Twead, NY Times bestselling author of Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools, which she developed into a series, and Alan Parks, author of Seriously Mum, What’s an Alpaca, which also became a series. This took place in 2013 and continues today with membership open to both memoir writers and memoir readers alike.
Perhaps the earliest memoir written was by Libantus, a teacher who lived from 314-394 AD. Another early memoir was The Confessions of St. Augustine written around 397 AD. It is still read by theological scholars today.
How can you celebrate We Love Memoirs Day?
- Start writing a memoir about yourself. Obviously, you can’t write a memoir in one day, but you can start by picking a “season” or period of your life you wish to write about, and write a short piece or scene to integrate as a chapter or event in your story.
- Join an online memoir writers/readers group.
- Start reading a memoir. My Advanced Writing students are reading a memoir and then reviewing it (according to my criteria for a good review) as a memoir “project” for credit toward their course grade. Had I not had so many writing assignments lined up, I could have assigned writing their own memoir as well. Hmmmmm, maybe I’ll offer extra credit or points for one.
- Go to Half Price Books or another bookstore and BUY a memoir. Here are a few suggestions:
Memoirs are special reading experiences where an author bares her/his soul to the reader. Celebrities often name drop and write “tell-all” memoirs that start feuds or solid relationships with other people. Do you think YOU could write a memoir? What type of person would enjoy reading it? Would it be sad and seek sympathy/empathy from the reader, or would it be joyful and zany, perhaps? Would you be brave enough to write a memoir in the first place? Answer these questions and make comments in the reply box below.
HAPPY READING–of MEMOIRS!