Writing a Memoir

I've been thinking about the shape of life - from where I was, in a traditional lower middle-class family to living in the heart of London, after career changes and life's hard knocks.

My main attraction to writing memoirs is that story to tell - the story of the journey, of the blind courage and the narrow alleyways of experience, that broadened into the expanse of a mongrel's life.

But writing a memoir is more about the entire journey - it's a specific experience I want to talk about. So here are the things I'm doing to prepare for this writing endeavour.


a) Starting to keep a journal more religiously. It has lasted a week, let's see if I can spend 10 minutes every day writing in it. I've gone and invested £23 pounds of hard-earned money into a new Moleskine journal for 2019 too.



b) Thinking about themes - from being single, to refusing arranged marriage, career options to writing life, caught between cultures to the lessons in relationships - what theme should I choose and why?

c) The mood and the tone - is it going to be full of whimsy or reflective? Is it about improving life or showing how life has sometimes pushed me to the ground often, especially when it came to relationships. Is it about lessons learnt or is it about forgetting the past? Is it about aspiration or about forgiveness?

d) The structure - I'm not a novelist. I write short stories. I prefer writing a series of short essays, memories, some poetry to illuminate life rather than an expansive chronological narrative.

e) Audience - who am I writing this for? For girls who are still bound by tradition and do not break away? Is it for the western reader who is fascinated about an Indian woman? Is it for writers who look for inspiration in lives lived?


Are you working on a memoir? How did you plan it? Share your thoughts with us here.

Comments