Memoir Writing

Posted by Backyard Urban Gardening on Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Writing a memoir is becoming more and more popular. One only need to vist Barnes & Noble or Borders...the shelves are full of memoirs. My local community college even teaches a course to help with starting a memoir.

Memoir writing is not just for the "rich", the "famous", or the "powerful"; it's a format for anyone that has a story to tell.

  • Here's a snippet I wrote recently:

From the age of thirteen I’ve always aspired to achieve something great in my lifetime, to make a difference, to get noticed. I suppose my desire to make an impact is rooted in the humbleness of youth. I grew up in Jamestown, a small town in rural Missouri with a population of less than three hundred people.

At one time Jamestown was a typical farm community, kids grew up and worked along side dad, mom, grandpa and grandma on the family farm. But as farming declined, the biggest employer in town became the school system and after that there wasn’t much you could do, but search for work in larger communities and commute to work. For me, it wasn’t much to aspire to.

Sometimes when I was fortunate enough to have success on the local baseball team or on the basketball team, I became somebody for a while. I mattered. I was noticed. I became “it”, until the next day at school when someone would quickly remind me that a red-headed, freckled-faced kid with glasses wearing hand-me-down clothes and worn out shoes doesn’t stand a chance in small-town rural America.

We lost the family farm to high interest rates, mismanagement and just plain old “circumstances”. At thirteen I did not understand why we lost the farm, but at thirty-eight I’m surprised my parents were able to hang onto it as long as they did. Farming is a rough life, it is dirty work, and it is thankless. It’s a constant struggle to stay one step ahead of the bank, not to mention obstacles including too much drought, too much rain at the wrong times, and “too much month at the end of the money”.

The best thing that ever happened in my life was the day my family moved 120 miles away to a new town, to a new school, and for me...a new life. We packed up a Ryder truck and moved to Lonedell, a bed room community near St. Louis, where my dad worked for Wal-Mart.


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