My eyes were always larger than my hands. Big, bright eyes that swallowed the world and spit it out between four wobbly baby teeth: transformed. The large Floridian palm trees were my friends, the tennis court behind our small apartment was my playground, the hedge embedded between the pores of backyard dirt was my wall to scale.
I saw the world with radiating irises, with pulsing lenses of naïvety. Using small, nimble fingers, I carved my name to my tree and sculpted the bark to advertise that I’d been there. That I’d been alive. My tree– whom, being a child, I had called some frivolous name– rested beside my sister’s in a field of manicured grass. And, throughout the years, the dense hedge beyond our trees continued to separate our world between what was known and what was unknown.
We wanted the unknown.
I’ve been staring at this introduction to my memoir for hours now. I know what I want to write, what I want to say, why I want to say it. But I’ve no idea how. I want my tale to be one of innocence, imagination, and uniqueness. But, as I’ve realized now, I’ve no idea how to go about it.
I’m learning that the process of writing a personal narrative or memoir is much more difficult than writing a story within a fictional world. At least you can control the characters and environment in a fictional setting. You can change details, rearrange events, exaggerate character traits, delete others. However, in a memoir, things simply… are. It is harder to state the facts. It is harder to record our past, because it cannot be changed. And, quite frankly, I believe that we are terrified to relive it.
Despite the subconscious fear writers have of regurgitating their lives on paper, it is important to remember that writing about your experiences is essential. This is true for many reasons. Your words may inspire many others to turn their lives around for the better; you will feel as if a large boulder has been heaved off your chest when you are finished; you will breathe life into your most departed memories; and, most importantly, you owe the world your voice. Every writer has a small yet powerful voice writhing inside their minds that needs to be transcribed. That is, of course, my opinion, but I believe that lives deserve to be recorded. It is sort of a way to express your gratitude to the universe as a storyteller, a poet, a human being. You are given an incredible gift. It is of utmost importance that you use it.
Currently, I am trying to look at writing my memoir as a trial that can be overcome. And so, with this idea, I came up with the notion to offer you an enticing new writing challenge: write your own memoir. Pen your story to paper and share it. Be bold, be brave, and be beautiful; release your thoughts, your feelings, and your countless memories onto paper.
Can you beat the challenge? There’s only one way to find out! I encourage you to comment with a possible introduction to your own memoir below; I’d love for everyone to share ideas and to help cultivate the best writing experience.
Good luck, and happy writing!
2 thoughts on “Take the Memoir Challenge”
Writing your memoir is scary. There’s no two ways around it. Mine, as far as I’ve written it (for preservation of the people I’ve lost, for recovery, for memory preservation and many more reasons), so far is tough. Though as I’m gaining chronological weight, it becomes easier to ascertain meaning from that big stupid fight years later once you can get a handle on the bigger picture, it has gotten sometimes easier and in some cases harder. Like being a wrestler, spending most of your time in the lower weight class but then going through a growth spurt that changes your weight from light to medium weight and the entire game changes. Your approach changes but your ultimate strategy remains the same: to be the best. You’re pretty good, keep at it*.
*I”m no good, don’t use me as an example.
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Thank you, I encourage you to keep writing your memoir! I feel like it’d both benefit you and the literary world. 🙂
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