Memoir. It is defined as “a historical account or biography written from personal knowledge or special sources.” It’s like writing an autobiography, but from your own memories about a specific situation that happened instead of your entire life story. If you were in Dallas during the JFK assassination and witness the events which unfolded, then you could write a memoir about that event.
Memoirs are a group of these specific memories that come from personal knowledge or special sources. If you also happened to fight in WWII and then started your own business and retired as a millionaire, then these stories could be added to the first to create your memoirs.
So what should you write a memoir about? Here are some ideas to help get you started.
#1. Being a parent. Talk about the lessons learned from your own experiences of raising kids.
#2. Being an athlete. You don’t have to be a professional athlete to create memoirs. Maybe your high school team won a state championship. Or maybe you won a national championship in college. The journey toward that trophy can become part of your memoirs.
#3. That special vacation. If you took a trip to somewhere special and something profound happened to you, then this can be something to write a memoir about. It doesn’t have to be a bad thing that happened either. Falling in love while taking a trip to Italy is just as exciting to read about as surviving a terrorist attack.
#4. Career lessons. What do you do for a living? What stories have come about from your time in your profession? Was there one special moment that opened up doors for you, like an unexpected promotion? These can all become foundations for memoirs as well.
#5. Your special talent. There is something that you do that no one else can do. Some people can sing. Others can dance. Some people can write. Talk about how your special talent has changed your life and you’ll have something to add to your memoirs.
#6. Family is always a great topic. Talking about family in your memoirs can be tricky because you can transform your narrative into an autobiography very easily. Instead of giving people a timeline of events, think about one or two specific moments that stand out with your family. Talk about what happened and what was learned from the experience. Your parents, grandparents, or siblings can all be included in this type of memoir addition.
#7. Your happy place. Whether you use gardening to decompress from stress or you play shooting video games, we all have a happy place that is very meaningful to each of us. Talk about why you established your happy place and how it has helped you for a wonderful addition to your memoirs.
#8. Weight loss. Dieting is more than just a fad, especially in some countries around the world. It is a struggle for many. If you’ve found success with your weight loss efforts, then your memoirs can provide inspiration to those who are still struggling to take off the added pounds. Share specific challenges you were able to overcome to avoid turning your story into a short autobiography.
#9. Divorce. A popular statistic says that half of all marriages in the US will end up in divorce one day. If that has happened to you, then sharing your memories and experiences from that moment in your life can help others be able to power through their own difficult moments.
#10. That one time, at summer camp… Summer camp memoirs are meaningful because they are often coming of age stories. Away from parents, sometimes even away from friends, these are the moments when we get to know what we’re really made of as people.
#11. Your struggle with debt. Many households had debt problems in the 2007-2009 recession years. Some workers haven’t even received a raise since then and are still struggling. If you were able to overcome debt, then share your struggles and your strategies to remove it.
#12. Overcoming an addiction. Some addictions aren’t so bad. Taco Tuesdays make bring a smile to your face. Some addictions can be very destructive. If you were able to overcome a destructive addiction in some way, then sharing this journey can be a great addition to your memoirs. Adding your recipe for Taco Tuesday wouldn’t be bad either…
What to write a memoir about is ultimately about what is important to you. Maybe you witnessed an historical event. Maybe you created history in some way. Or maybe you just have wisdom to share because what has happened to you in life. These are all moments that are perfect for your memoirs.
Now you’ve got one job left: start writing.