For most of us, the holiday season brings back many fond memories and stirs up reflections more than any other time of the year. Families gather to reminisce and tell old stories, and the long winter nights offer plenty of time to ruminate. After a life well lived, older adults have a lot of memories and a lot of wisdom—so writing a memoir can be a perfect activity to stay active and share your experiences.
Here at Falcons Landing, we witness the joy these memories bring to our residents during retirement, and we know first-hand many of the amazing stories our residents have, from their years in the military or government service to prestigious careers to traveling the world. In addition to these exciting experiences, our residents are often the last link to old family lore.
A memoir gives you a chance to record what’s stored in your mind, entertain readers with exciting tales, and leave a lasting memory for your children and grandchildren. If that sounds intriguing but you don’t know where to start, read on!
What Is a Memoir?
The word memoir comes from the French word “mémoire” which means “memory.” Celadon Books defines a memoir as a narrative, written from the perspective of the author, about an important part of their life. While it’s often confused with an autobiography, they’re not the same.
An autobiography covers the story of your entire life and focuses mainly on facts. It might start by recording your family lineage and then tell your life story in chronological order from birth to retirement. A memoir, on the other hand, only covers part of your life and takes on a more personal style of storytelling that includes your thoughts, emotions and perspectives.
Rather than a straightforward chronology of your life, a memoir offers a pattern of memories around a common theme, such as raising a family, managing your career, reflections on where you’ve lived, travel stories or other common themes.
Tips for Writing a Memoir
You don’t have to be a world-famous author to write a memoir. In fact, you don’t have to be a writer at all! Frank McCourt, author of Angela’s Ashes, was in his mid-sixties before he began writing his memoirs. Whether you aspire to write an entire book or just want to record some memories, here are six tips to get you started:
Writing Prompts for Inspiration
Using the tips we’ve just covered, start thinking about what you’d like to include in your memoir. Sometimes it may help to get an outsider’s perspective. You’d be surprised at what others can learn from your life and what they would like to know. Feel free to ask friends and family for suggestions.
Additionally, use the following prompts to get an idea of where to begin:
Recommended Fountain Pens to Get Started
Once you start writing, you may soon find that your memoir becomes a passion project that renews your sense of purpose. Once you’re done and have made the necessary changes, take things up a notch and rewrite your memoir in a beautiful notebook with the extra personal touch of having it in your handwriting using a high-quality fountain pen.
Here are 5 pen recommendations to consider:
Make and Capture Memories at Falcons Landing
Our beautiful campus and welcoming residents make Falcons Landing the perfect place to retire, create even more memories and connect with like-minded individuals. If you join us, you can take advantage of all our green spaces and common areas on campus to stay active or work on projects such as writing a memoir. Schedule a tour today and come see all that we have to offer. We can’t wait to hear your stories!