Writing Your Life Story Part 4: Why Write Your Story?

Polyvitro Chandelier and Tower

Polyvitro Chandelier and Tower © 2014 Bo Mackison

Friends, family, even strangers ask: “Why should I write down my life story?” “I haven’t anything important to share.” “Who would want to read about my life?”

So . . . why write my life story or memoir?

Different writers have different reasons, but here are a few:

Memoir writing can be therapeutic.

Writing your way through a difficult period of life, or writing about the learning of a challenging life lesson can help put the experience into perspective.

Memoirs provide teaching moments.

A good memoir focuses on an event or series of events that evoke a change in the author — perhaps a change of view, a change of feelings, a change for better (or worse.)

Memoirs provide for personal sharing and keep moments alive.

This sharing need not be for a large audience; the writing may only be written for family members or friends. It is a way of documenting a part of their lives, too. I recalled a poem I recently read that described a moment by a writer as he watched his words being read by another.

A day will come I’ll watch you reading this.
I’ll look up from these words I’m writing now—
this line I’m standing on, I’ll be right here,
alive again. I’ll breathe on you this breath.
~~ excerpt from the poem The One Certain Thing by Peter Cooley

Ask yourself. Why write about your life, your memories?

This makes a great writing prompt. Are you writing to resolve an old issue? Are you writing to share a major shift in your actions or way of thinking? Or like the poet, are you writing your story, even in a small way, for posterity?

Consider writing down your reasons and making it a part of your memoir collection.

Next: Part 5, The Perfect Container

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.

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