Shine a light on memories stored in the attic of your mind

Shared reminiscing is uplifting for us all

Shine a light on memories stored in the attic of your mind

Shine a light on memories stored in the attic of your mind

Can you remember when you first thought, “I want to write my story”? What was the motivating factor that led to this thought?
Or did a close friend or family member convince you that writing your memoir must go on your list of things to do?
A memoir can take many forms, and you can choose whatever method feels right for you. The various types of memoirs can range from a single page to book-length manuscripts.
You can choose to share your stories in a variety of traditional written and online formats as well as in poetry, cookbooks, plays, art, photo albums, and songs. What form appeals most to you?
Often a person with low self-esteem questions the value of their own life story and dismisses the thought of writing a memoir.

Shared reminiscing is uplifting for us all

A gentle reminder that their life counts as much as anyone else can be prompted by asking:
“How interested would you be to read one paragraph or 100 pages that your parents or grandparents wrote about their lives?”
Certainly, I wish my grandparents had written about their lives. Photographs give us some idea of our ancestors, but their words offer a far more detailed picture. We gain an understanding of what they think and feel, of their values and beliefs, of their hopes and dreams.
An important benefit of the Memoir Hub blog is that shared reminiscing among participants can spark epiphanies and unearth incidents and experiences that have occurred in each other’s life.
Sharing our stories with others is akin to watching lights on a Christmas tree being switched on – soon the otherwise plain tree is sparkling and twinkling brightly. So it is when memoir writers gather.

Answering open-ended questions … can help you shine a light on memories that have been in the attic of your mind for years.

For example, consider these questions:
Q. What were the crucial turning points in your life, and the consequences?
Q. Describe the person or the event that had the greatest influence on the shaping of your life?
Q. Describe an incident you remember from your school days.
Q. How did your family spend holidays or celebrate holidays?
Through sharing snippets of your story on this private blog, you can inspire others and, through responses, receive valued suggestions and encouragement from peers in return. Everyone’s story is different, and everyone’s story counts. Choosing the most appropriate format for telling your story is made easier through the sharing of ideas with others.
Importantly, remember that you are producing this story of your life, primarily as an experience for yourself, and secondly as a legacy for your family or close others. A third reason beyond the first two, is to produce a story for publication and sharing with the world at large.

This is YOUR story and only you can tell it

The process of compiling a memoir is as meaningful as the destination. Being both a participant and observer of your life can change the way you view yourself and amend the views of those who read your story. Relationship bridges can be rebuilt and wounds of the soul can be healed.
Beyond developing a deeper awareness of self, you may find you gain insight into the value of your life within the context of your family or other forms of structure. Collaboration with others can take place during the gathering and checking of facts, dates, pictures, and memorabilia. Long-held secrets or misunderstandings can be shared and repackaged so that everyone is free to move on.

Often the writers who initially claim that their lives “aren’t anything important”, are the ones who most report enthusiastic responses to what they write. This is because some of us can express our thoughts and feelings more easily through writing than through speech. We can find our “voice” through writing.
Through the writing medium, and in the safe environment of the Memoir Hub, participants can test reactions to sharing their stories and gradually strengthen their self-belief. My experience is that over time, through the sharing of writing, we can speak more confidently and walk with a lighter step because writing our story helps us to see and appreciate the ways in which we contribute to the life around us.
Imagine, months from now, holding a printed book containing your story – professional quality text, perhaps illustrated with pictures and bound with a hardcover — to give your family members as a unique Christmas gift.

Imagine, 50 years from now, descendants reading your story. Through reading your story they will be able to better understand who they are and their purpose in life. What a gift!

Start writing!

June Alexander

About June Alexander

All articles by June Alexander

As founder of Life Stories Diary my prime motivation is to connect with people who want to share their story. Why? Because your story is important. My goal with this blog is to provide a platform for you to share your story with others. Building on the accomplishments of The Diary Healer the Life Stories Diary blog will continue to be a voice for people who have experienced an eating disorder, trauma or other mental health challenge, and provide inspiration through the narrative, to live a full and meaningful life.

My nine books about eating disorders focus on learning through story-sharing. Prior to writing books, which include my memoir, I had a long career in print journalism. In 2017, I graduated as a Doctor of Philosophy (Creative Writing), researching the usefulness of journaling and writing when recovering from an eating disorder or other traumatic experience.
Today I combine my writing expertise with life experience to help others self-heal. Clients receive mentoring in narrative techniques and guidance in memoir-writing. I also share my editing expertise with people who are writing their story and wish to prepare it to publication standard. I encourage everyone to write their story. Your story counts!
Contact me: Email and on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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