It’s a very joyful job for me to edit someone else’s story, to watch as they learn so much they never knew about themselves through the act of writing down their life. It helps that I’m writing my own memoir, as well.
Joining my authors as a memoirist leads me to dig deeper for clues about achieving success at this distinctive art form. I’ve found many of these clues in a resource I discovered only recently: statements by reviewers of memoirs. The New York Times and many other sources have given me such a wealth of suggestions about what makes a memoir—the particular memoir being reviewed, to be sure—a success.
One of the features of my new blog will be selections from these reviews that I found particularly enlightening, encouraging, perceptive and helpful. I’ve found so many surprises in these reviews as well as in statements by memoirists themselves. One revelation might surprise you too. Here it is:
We write so others feel less lonely.
Memoir as a spiritual practice? As a healing medium? Who knew?
I’ll cite references directly as I research my files.
Meanwhile, know that as you take on the challenge of writing your memoir, you may very well wind up lifting the heart of a stranger.