Creating Alternative Kinds of Memoirs
Before diving into the world of memoirs and their many different forms, you may be wondering why memoir is a relevant vehicle of self-expression for the average person. After all it has long been the property of the super famous.
I don't agree. I believe the form belongs to all of us.
Everyone has loved and lost, been broken, had dreams, and built themselves up from scratch. The lessons we've learned in the moments we spent with our parents or in school can be some of the most traumatic stories, but we're stronger because of them. Don't be afraid to create a memoir just for your consumption; the process can teach you a lot!
Memoirs through Film
While there are many films based on memoirs, the average person doesn't need to become a filmmaker. Think of home videos and family photo albums. What's their function? They tell stories. Using video to create a representation of your life can be an exciting process.
You could use just your phone to record film of you living your life, or of interviews by family members. In the age of social media, you can even use videos you’ve uploaded there to edit together a cohesive film that tells a story about your life.
Photography is a tool that's been used for over a century now to tell stories. Over time, it's evolved from high art to something accessible for everyone. You could take the traditional route of creating a series of photos you develop properly, or just make an Instagram account.
When you create a series of photographs over time, you’ll be left with a clear progression of your personal journey. That kind of insight is priceless!
Talk It Out Through Podcasts
Podcasts have taken their cue from the radio, but the availability of the internet has made them a more viable option than traditional radio for extended storytelling. My experience of recording a podcast in relation to my memoir showed me that.
Talking can be extremely cathartic, and if that's the kind of release you're looking for with a personal memoir, then the podcast may be right for you.
Add a Twist to the Traditional
Memoirs written in chronological order are the usual deal, but you don't need to follow that format. If writing is your comfort zone, mix it up. My artistic choice led me to publish a collection of short memoirs, annotated with pictures of my younger self, my parents, and grandparents. Revisiting the past, both the joyful and traumatic moments, helped me to get to know myself better in relation to my family and move on with my life. Each story is like a vivid photograph full of surprises and revelations.