Memoir Writing Through The Generations

Tips on writing your memoirs with the helpof letters, photographs, and drawings from your children and grandchildren.

Memoir writing is something anyone can do it, and everyone should.

It's easiest if memories are written about different topics and that writing continue on a daily or weekly basis, from one generation to the next.

Write about you and your life, and how things panned out on the various holidays, and special occasions, as well as during quiet times in your life. Write from different angles, and include different people and places. Ideally, everything should be included, but realistically, that is impossible. Not only do our minds forget both minuscule as well as monumental adventures, it would take more than one lifetime to get it all down on paper.

However, for someone who plans on writing his or her memoirs some day, the best thing to do is to keep every bit of correspondence received. And, I mean everything. Bills, letters, Christmas correspondence, birthday cards, party announcements, and a picture of everyone in your life. Places where special events occurred should be included, too.

It is best if these items are kept in order as the years pass. It's not a hard task. Even if it's just a large cardboard box under the bed, use it as if it contained the most important items in your life. In a way, it does. The softball programs from your daughter's college games, or the baseball stats your son acquired in Pee-Wee Baseball really are the most important papers in your life.

Photographs are a must. Years from now, they will be the most visual items in your memoir folder, so don't forget to include as many as possible. Unfortunately, the most commonly made mistake when it comes to photographs isn't detected until it's too late. Remember to identify each individual in a picture. Do it as soon as the photographs are printed. There's nothing worse than holding the perfect photograph from 1956 in your hand and having absolutely no idea who the people in it are.

And, don't stop your memoirs with just your own writing, your own work. Include several items from your children, your grandchildren, and from family friends. An inky paw print on your best stationery, compliments of your daughter's favorite pet, Fancy, will definitely jog your memory about the incident 20 years from now. Any painting, drawing, sketch, or note written by your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or sister and brothers, that pertains to your life in some way, may be included. Anything that might jog your memory about a certain story or adventure that occurred should definitely be included.

Some day you'll find the time to dig through that box and each little treasure will be an inspiration to you. The stories and laughter will be unveiled with each parched and yellowed sheet of paper. Almost as if you've tapped an endless supply of emotion, the memories will flood over you. And you'll never find yourself at a standstill; your pen or computer keys will never sit idly. Stories that normally would have remained hidden from your eyes will be yours to keep as you view your life all over again, through the eyes of your family.

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