Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Memoir and the Art of Remembering Oneself

Okay, so I've been feeling this more and more over the last six months or so, and I think I'm going to put a concerted effort toward it in my spare time: life writing. As in, writing in which I remember different parts of my life. I think I'm going to try it out as one of my writing goals for the year.

Why am I feeling this just now? Several reasons, really:
  • The historical/archival classes I took last fall got me in the mood to remember things for future generations.
  • My life has been filled with interesting stories and experiences, and I need to remember that. Hard to remember somedays that I'm an interesting person when I sit in front of the computer and/or deep theoretical tome for most of the day.
  • Because of the nature of said deep theoretical reading, I find myself a dull conversational companion sometimes. Remembering those various facets of myself discovered through aforesaid interesting stories and experiences will keep me more interesting.
  • Thanks to Facebook, people from various stages of my past are reviving memories of my life then and making me aware of what has happened in-between. Might as well take advantage of the memory-jogging to jot some of it down.
  • I did come up with a memoir idea, title and all, last fall. Might as well lay some groundwork for it from time to time.
  • It's something I can easily shift to from academic tasks (and back).
  • I don't have much time or money to observe many real-world activities in a vacation-esque "see interesting things in other parts of the world" sense just now. This would give me regular vacations to parts of my past for no charge.
  • It would likely help me dig through some of the questions of identity I deal with on a daily basis, making me a more integrated person.
  • It would serve as a good introduction for my significant other to some of the portions of my life I don't always think to talk about on a daily basis.
Anyway, I think I'm going to take a stab at it sometimes this semester betwixt and between the homework and lesson plans. Not necessarily trying to do it by chapters, as such (though I might). I'm thinking about starting with more sketching out some scenes and themes and writing some material that might be useful to drop into whatever chapters I'm thinking through later on. More experimentation than anything at this point. Play, really. I think it will be fun.

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