Insight

Memoir Writing

This post is one of 26 I am writing for the A-Z Challenge on the subject of writing a memoir. I’m not an expert in writing memoirs, but I’m exploring the topic with thoughts about writing one, and am happy to share the fruits of my exploration.

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MemoirWriting-Insight1

To write a memoir, you need to have reached the point where you have insight into episodes from your past that you didn’t have before. This is another reason why you need detachment.

Here’s an episode from my past, aged 15, plus a recent insight:

Mrs B is organising a skiing trip and I’m booked to go. I’ve never been skiing and I’ve never been able to go on a school trip before. I’m very excited.

Mum returns from the parents’ meeting.

“I met R’s mother and we had a long chat. She told me R is also going on the skiing trip.”

I nod. I don’t tell Mum, but I’m expecting trouble. R doesn’t like me. I don’t know why, but I know she doesn’t.

A few days later Mum tells me that Mrs B phoned her. “She’s very sorry, but she’s had to cancel the trip.”

I don’t believe that and my doubts are confirmed by L who suggested I joined the trip in the first place and is still going. How could Mrs B have lied like that?

Decades later, I don’t think Mrs B lied. I think my mother lied because she wanted to protect me from the truth, although really she didn’t protect me from anything and it would have been much better if we could have talked it through.

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