How You Say? Read On
You’ve come to the right place. I had no idea at first how to tell the story of my own family. Autobiography and family history were a bit too much. So I started small, but I started, and of course that’s the most important step. How will you start?
Where Do You Start?
Begin anywhere. Just start. I began by seeing through my mother’s eyes. She was in her 80s and bedridden. Her only joy at that stage of life was reading. I confided to her that I wanted to write something about the family stories she told us before she was not there to get the details right.
Needless to say, she was delighted. She even volunteered to help underwrite the expenses of my first memoir. I figured that to tell her story up to the end of World War II would be enough of a bite for me, and we could do the rest later.
Unfortunately, there was no later. Am I glad we got as far as we did. Because you know what? That book, that story, her story, Briarhopper: A History, became the book she wanted to read the most, And she did. She read it over and over again, and it gave her such pleasure.
And now, my children read it, and though it was my first, bumbling effort, it got me started on a writing career at the age of fifty. Two more books and countless essays followed. And guess what? I got better at it. Even won some awards.
So even if you’ve never written more than a recipe, start writing. It’s how you learn. Writing is like a muscle. You have to exercise it often to get results. And help is always available.
If life is a journey, so it is writing. As you begin your writing journey, you’ll find out more about yourself and how you tick. It’s worth it, believe me. So let’s get started. What’s your story? Take that first step. I’ll hold your hand.
Meanwhile, check out the National Association of Memoir Writers. It’s a great and helpful group. http://namw.org