“To write a good memoir you must become the editor of your own life, imposing on an untidy sprawl of half-remembered events a narrative shape and organizing idea. Memoir is the art of inventing the truth.”
“Remember that you own what happened to you. If your childhood was less than ideal, you may have been raised thinking that if you told the truth about what really went on in your family, a long bony white finger would emerge from a cloud and point to you, while a chilling voice thundered, “We *told* you not to tell.” But that was then. Just put down on paper everything you can remember now about your parents and siblings and relatives and neighbors, and we will deal with libel later on.”
“I’ve given my memoirs far more thought than any of my marriages. You can’t divorce a book.”
“Someone asked me if I was afraid to write my memoirs. I told him: We have to stop drawing up accounts of fear! We live in a society in which people are allowed to tell their story, and that is what I do.”
“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
I came across this succinct description of writing in memoir I wanted to share here by Scott Berkun who is a very successful writer and memoirist. He wrote a fascinating and finely detailed accounting of all that is involved in writing memoir. In his post he also includes lots of helpful tips as well as a list of references to books, helpful for writing in memoir.