With celebrities and politicians jumping on the bandwagon and people becoming ever more candid about their personal life experiences it seems we are developing an insatiable appetite for memoirs. Some go for shock and awe and you might be forgiven for wondering if the lines between fact and fiction have become more than a little blurred but a candid memoir can be a beautiful literary effort. What’s more, the genre is certainly not the sole domain of celebrities and politicians.
A good memoir, told well with a modicum of literary prowess, builds an emotional bridge to its author and with the continued growth in self-publishing, the memoir genre has become increasingly diverse. But what really motivates someone to write a memoir and what should we expect from a good memoir?
With a host of memoirs joining the ranks of bestsellers you might think money was a motivating factor but the majority of authors choosing to share the minute of their lives with a largely anonymous audience do so for purely altruistic reasons. We might be individuals but our experiences are rarely unique and whilst writing a memoir can be a painful experience it can prove incredibly therapeutic for both author and reader. Connected by experiences, tragedies, ill fortune or poor health memoirs connect readers around the globe and can often have a profound impact on those that read them. They can also educate and add an informative and lasting footnote to the annals of history on a given subject.
Life is finite but each memoir is a little bit of history by which we are remembered. Of course, the majority of us will never put pen to paper but for those who have considered sharing their personal experiences, there has never been a better time!
If you have written a memoir or are considering doing so we would welcome your thoughts.