Memoir is, in essence, a collection of memories. But it’s how we frame our memories and experiences that makes the story.
Sometimes knowing where to start writing memoir is the hardest part.
Here’s three writing prompts to get you in the swing of describing your personal story to someone who has never met you before:
1: Imagine you’re describing your current living situation to someone from a foreign country who has no television / internet / concept of the customs or rules of your town. Go into detail about how you work, eat, live, who you surround yourself with, what motivates you, what laws affect the most fundamental issues in your life?
2: What’s the biggest process of transformation you’ve ever been through? What prompted it? How long did it take? Jot down the key events that happened during the process, and how you came out the other side…
3: What’s the most intense memory you have from childhood? If you could only tell one story about your childhood to help someone get to know you better, what would it be?
These prompts might help you find the topic of your memoir, but mainly they’ll help you get to know your own story. Self-knowledge and awareness is key to writing good memoir, which is why i believe a journalling practice is absolutely fundamental to writing your memoir.