How and Why You Should Write Your Memories

| 2/24/2015 9:18:00 AM

Tags: Writer, Blogger, How To Write Memories, Capture Emotions, Writing Your Stories, Mary Conley,

Mary ConleyDear friends,

I am not a writer. I know because I’ve read good books! I am a blogger, though, and I’m just now getting used to saying that. For a long time when people complimented my blogging, I always felt as though we were talking about a third person. In today’s post I want to tell you about how I first started writing. It was a few years ago, and my goal was to record several stories about my childhood for my children. I think you should, too, and I’ll soon tell you why.

“Not me,” you say? You can’t spell or punctuate or you don't have good sentence structure? Doesn’t matter. The important thing is that you get it down and in your own words. You don’t want your story to sound like someone else’s life, anyway. How do I know? I read it in a book, and that is what gave me the courage to start. I also know from the following experience:

I received a fairly lengthy note from my sister-in-law, Wilma. A FIRST! It was a rare thing, indeed. I felt so privileged that she had written to me, I was nearly floating around the house. Then my husband, Larry, started reading it, and pointed out the errors. It made me so mad. I didn’t care about those errors; I was just happy that she had written to me. Furthermore, because she had written in her own voice, I could just about hear her talking to me as I was reading her note. I treasure it!

Back to the “why” you should write your stories. Again, learning from experience, it is bound to be so much more than just passing down your life to your children. The act of writing, itself, may become therapy. For free! At least it did for me. It helped sort things out and made me realize something very important.

My family was wonderful in many ways, and very dysfunctional in others. What writing did for me was to revisit even the difficult times. I often stopped my typing to wipe the tears. Sometimes, I sobbed through it, or discontinued until another day. Then, I eventually applied forgiveness where needed. One of my stories was a letter I wrote to my dad, talking it all out. In the end, I told him I forgave him for all his anger and the sadness it caused. This may seem ridiculous since he was already dead, but it helped. My big surprise, though, was how I realized all that my parents had sacrificed and done for me. What started out as writing some of my childhood stories for my children, turned into gifts for me of forgiveness and thankfulness.

2/24/2015 7:11:31 PM

Thanks for commenting, MissEditress! Good for you to start young while you can remember. Yes, even jotting down the ideas is a good thing!

2/24/2015 6:56:33 PM

Thank you for this post. For a while now I've been wanting to write down stories and memories to look back on, and so when my kids or grandkids say "Tell us a story!" I can whip out this big book (or laptop ;) of memories to share. I started half a story once, but that's all that has transpired so far. But your post has rekindled that desire. Even if I simply jot down a bunch of ideas, that's better than nothing! Thank you!

2/24/2015 3:02:25 PM

Thanks for commenting, Amy!

2/24/2015 2:11:49 PM

I loved the part about Aunt Golda and how they burst into laughter after posing. Makes me smile picturing it in my mind. That's what my family would do! Actually, my family would have been making snide and silly comments the whole time, while trying not to move their mouths, just to make the rest of us laugh.

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