To write a memoir?

Photo by David Clode

Has anyone here written a memoir? Writing one now, perhaps?

Two or three times this year I’ve found myself entertaining the notion. Just to cover my childhood and teens, really, up to when I joined the navy.

They were grim years. Dark. I suffered abuse.

What I’m wondering is, why would I want to write a memoir?

I don’t need to fix anything. I’ve done that, actually. I’m 61 and I’m okay. Long ago, I forgave the people who hurt me. I don’t need to come to terms with anything, or heal anything. It’s healed. So that’s not a reason to write it all out.

Nor do I need to see those years from the perspective of my abusers. Which might be a factor for some people who write a memoir, but it isn’t for me. I’m satisfied that I’ve covered that too.

I don’t believe it would make me any money. Not that money is a driver in my life. There are eleven or twelve of my novels out there in the world and, although my loyal readers enjoy them, experience tells me not to expect anything I write to buy me a yacht. So it isn’t money.

I’m not of the opinion that a memoir of mine would add to the sum of human wisdom. Parts of it might possibly help a youngster or two who are going through what I went through… but frankly I don’t foresee it being popular enough to get into their hands.

And I wouldn’t bother writing it just for myself, because I don’t do that, or need to do that, or even want to do that.

So I don’t know why the thought keeps returning. Why I’m attracted to the idea of the project.

Any ideas, friends?

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10 Responses to To write a memoir?

  1. Chris Meaney says:

    Hey David hope your well. I am currently writing a journal with the help of a book called dear grandad from you to me. Described as a journal of a lifetime which has some nice easy things to write and some really hard stuff. So I am suggesting it’s for your kids and there kids and there kids to know who you were. Hope that helps

    • Hi Chris. Good to see you. 🙂

      Thanks for your thoughts, and if ever you write a memoir I’d certainly like to read it. Your friendship is one of the warm, safe, happy parts of my youthful years.

      You in the UK at the moment? Fancy a catch-up on the phone?

  2. Sheelagh says:

    I remember a few times that we spent together, though neither of us told of the abuse we were experiencing.
    Write whatever you need to David x

  3. Ashe Elton Parker says:

    Remembering the trauma I dragged myself through over my writing when I first became a Catholic (what I wanted to write didn’t coincide with Catholicism), and where I am today with regards to my gender and sexuality, I’d say that if you keep getting the notion to write a memoir, there may well be a deeply subconscious reason why you keep thinking of it. I honestly had no conscious suspicion that my mind wanted me to deal with some pretty important aspects of myself at the time, but it kept on presenting what it wanted me to deal with as an aspect of my fiction. So, it seems to me that there might well be some deep-seated reason for you to keep toying with the idea of writing a memoir. What that reason is, you’ll probably find out if you embark upon that journey.

  4. Red Fiona says:

    Is it one of those things where there is a truth you want to tell, not to the world, but to a particular person and because you’re a writer that’s how it’s expressing itself?

  5. Poietes says:

    David, it’s been years since I’ve visited. I was reading an old post of mine, and I mentioned you in it, so I decided to stop by. A memoir is what I’ve been working on for years, mostly because I write my way through the pain. But if you feel that you’ve resolved the issues that caused the pain, perhaps a memoir is not the way to go. I really don’t know. Hope you and your family are well.

    • Hello. It’s good to see you after all these years. I hope you’re okay.

      I feel you’re right about me and a memoir. Inasmuch as what you’re saying about it chimes with my current feelings about it.

      In fact, the urge to start writing one hasn’t risen in me since I wrote this blog post some months ago, so perhaps I wrote the idea out of me then.

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