The Power of MemoirPosted: February 7, 2013
“To craft a memoir means wrestling with the nature of truth and the muscles of story structure. It means that you travel back in time and come back with treasures of memory that must be strung together like beads on a string. A memoir has the power to reveal deep secrets and to expose long-buried thoughts, feelings, and events to the light of day. Writing a memoir is to whisper your secret truths into the ear of the reader. Writing your truth is freeing, as you let go of the burden of deeply hidden secrets, and let them come to the surface.
“Dr. James Pennebaker, a psychologist who conducts research on the healing power of story writing, says this: ‘A story is a form of knowledge.’ Story is a means of teaching us more about ourselves. Writing a memoir means that you are diving into the shimmering pool of memories and coming up with something that can be shaped into a story, and in doing so you will learn more than you could have imagined. No matter how challenged you may feel about writing a long work such as a memoir, if you enter the adventure of writing with an open mind and heart, and dedicate yourself to a path of learning and deeper knowledge, you will be rewarded with emotional understanding, and even healing and forgiveness.”
These words are from The Power of Memoir: How to Write Your Healing Story by Linda Joy Myers, Ph.D., who is President of the National Association of Memoir Writers and a practicing psychotherapist.
And so in reading these passages twice, thrice, and again, I am spurred on to revisit my shimmering pools — it has been four and a half years since I swam in those waters — and to re-surface with greater meaning and understanding, to see it all in the light of a new world and to feel power and healing. I am three-fourths of the way across that pool, writing A Resting Place.
I look forward to sharing my story, to whispering my truths into the ears of readers.