What is a Memoir?
A memoir is a type of autobiography wherein the main content of a written material is about the writer. It is a genre of literature that involves writing about certain aspects and concerns of a person’s life. Most people understand “memoir” and “autobiography” as the same, but these two terms actually have significant differences from one another. Autobiographies deal with a more historical nature of presenting a personal story. They represent more of a totality of a person or writer’s life from birth to old age. Memoirs meanwhile deal with only a part or period in someone’s life. It deals with a less structured and less traditional litany of what went on with life.
For most people who write memoirs, one significant or important chapter of life is chosen to be the main subject of a written material. Going through a tough time or a major problem in life is something that many would want to write about. The period in life where a person experiences pain from loss of a loved one is one example of a memoir. In this particular writing, the author may share his/her thoughts on the agony and pain he/she felt while mourning for a lost loved one. Along the course of the writing, the author may also share the lessons he/she learned while learning to cope and move on with the daily routines of life. Some may also give pointers, tips, and encouraging thoughts to help those who are in similar situations.
Others may also write memoirs after a successful battle with a serious medical condition. These people usually share what it’s like being in the dark and going through a stage wherein there seems to be no hope in sight. But ultimately, as the writing progresses and the illness improves, lessons may be learned along the way and all these may be shared by writing a personal memoir.
In the past, memoirs are usually written by those engaged in politics, business, and the military. But eventually, more and more people were introduced with this literary genre and were able to publish their own stories and autobiographies.