Writing Your Life

memoir6This blog is dedicated to Irene Waters, a writer, memoirist and sister blogger.  

People fascinate me.  I love reading the story of their lives.  I even like reading books about how to write memoirs.  But the closest I ever will get to writing about my life are the snippets you’ll see here in this blog.   Why?  My life is interesting.  I’m had incredible experiences that most people haven’t had.  I think it could make an interesting read.  I love to write.  I just don’t want to go slogging about in my own past, but I sure enjoy taking the trip through the life of someone else.

Autobiographies.  Biographies.  Memoirs.  Diaries.  Journals.  I can get lost in all of them, in my invisible time machine, jumping from place to place, lifetime to lifetime.  The people I like the best seem to be those I had not met until I discovered them in the pages of a good book.  Here are some of my favorites:

henrietta lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years.  Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.  The story of the Lacks family—past and present—is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.

Alison ArngrimConfessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated by Alison Arngrim

if you are a fan of “The Little House on the Prairie” television series, you will know the name Nellie Oleson, the most hated child character ever written.  Alison Arngrim tells what effect Nellie has left on her life, and does it with great humor.  You’ll enjoy her behind-the-scenes look at an iconic American television show.

Steven King

On Writing by Stephen King

I’m not a fan of the horror genre, so you will never see any Stephen King books on my bookshelf… except this one.  King takes you inside his writing life, and it is a fascinating view of the craft of writing.  “On Writing” is part memoir and part textbook.  A must read if you are interested in the process of successful fiction writing, or in the man himself.


Three great books, all by Michael J Fox:

Lucky Man: A Memoir

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future: Twists and Turns and Lessons Learned

Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist

What can you say about Michael J Fox?  Great actor.  Funny, funny guy.  Great humanitarian.  And, in his words, a Lucky Man who is an Incurable Optimist.  Read about his journey to stardom and continue on to his life with Parkinson’s Disease, all the while rolling on the floor laughing.

In the next blog…. some of my favorite blogs and books on writing memoirs.

11 thoughts on “Writing Your Life

  1. I too have considered writing my memoirs, but feel with all of my life experiences, and my advancing age, the daunting task of doing so might take up what time I have left on this planet to just enjoy my life.

    • LOL… For me, I think it’s more a matter on once I’ve processed something I move on. I’ve dealt with so much life and grief these last twelve years or so that I’ve learned to live in the moment. I think if I wrote anything it would be more like a book of daily meditations based on what I’ve learned in 61 years.

      • I have felt that way about it too! It is all in my journals if anyone after me wishes to know the awful truth, but like you, I’m not sure I want “read all about it” for the second time.

  2. I enjoy reading memoirs, too. I began as research for my own memoir which I’ve been working on for a few years. Some of my favorites are: The Boys of My Youth by Joann Beard, The Invisible Wall by Harry Bernstein and The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. I also enjoy reading about writing and recently finished William Zinsser’s book, Writing About Your Life. His first book, On Writing Well, got me going after many years.

  3. I am so touched. This was so unexpected.Life had got in the way of keeping up. I had come over to let you know that I have nominated you for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award and see this article dedicated to me. I am just gob smacked and very chuffed. Thank you. As you can see I enjoy visiting your site also and hope you’ll accept this nomination. I have put a post out on the award conditions. 🙂

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