Why? And Wearing White

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-Why

Who? What? When? Where? These are all questions we need to answer as we write the scenes that make up the memoir.

But most of all, we need to ask why. Because the why questions help us to make sense of what happened, and we need to make sense of events before letting readers get to them. Readers aren’t therapists. We don’t go to them with our problems. They want to see solutions.

There are many why questions that need to be answered while writing a memoir. Even if the answers don’t make it into the memoir, I think we should know the answers. Knowing them will provide the clarity we require to make the memoir shine.

  • Why write a memoir?
  • Why did that happen to me?
  • Why did I do that?
  • Why did they do that?

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It’s time for another story from my past. This is one that probably won’t make it to the memoir.

I’ve been reading a lot of A-Z posts. One set of posts that has fascinated me has been Rosalind Adam’s discussion of song lyrics. In her K post, she asked, “Is there a song that speaks directly to you?” I could mention several such songs, but this time I immediately thought of one in Hebrew and the words, “This summer wear white and pray for the best.”

In the summer of 1986 I’d been through one miscarriage and was at the beginning of another pregnancy. I had a pair of white trousers that were slightly wider in the waist than my others and suitable for this stage. If there had been any bleeding, white wouldn’t have been the best colour to wear, but I hoped that wouldn’t happen again. I often wore those trousers that summer and often sang those words to myself. Fortunately, all was well. He weighed 3.875 kg at birth. That’s 8.54 pounds.

I don’t even know the real meaning of that song!

Unfortunately, but excitingly, I probably won’t be able to respond to your comments before the beginning of May. But do please keep commenting. When the challenge is over, I will write a concluding post with a summary of all the advice you’ve been giving me. And don’t forget, the Comment link is at the top of this post.

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