Writing Memento Mori
Jerry Waxler writes the Memory Writers Network blog. One of his 120 essays about writing memoirs is titled, "Ten reasons why anyone should write a memoir"; however, if you peruse the URL for his post, you'll see the file title is "ten reasons boomers should write their memoir" (emphasis mine). I'm a boomer. Or, at least, I was until someone finagled the "official" DOB to qualify. So now, born in 1943, I'm a pre-boomer. Better than being a late boomer, I guess.
With the seeds of death lurking in my body, I keep feeling like I should be writing a memoir. Lord knows my life has been filled with drama. I have all the elements for a classic: codependent dysfunctional alcoholic family, etc. Sounds like everyone else's story, and that's what holds me back. Here's a capsule of why Waxler thinks we should memorialize ourselves in print:
Some of these reasons might sound a bit naive or unimportant to you, but two are powerful pulls for me. Maybe this is like the beginning of a writing career, a time when I advise creative writers to get that first novel out of their systems. Do you think that toward the end we need to get that summation of our lives out of the way? Will we rest easier?
- obtain a clearer vision of self
- develop story telling abilities
- form connections
- share knowledge to help others
- leave a creative legacy
- resolve past emotional issues
- develop writing habit/skill
- as a mental challenge
- project optimism to the future
- discover the value of your life