Our lives are full of personal myths which we have lived out—and continue to do so daily. In this video, I write about the “orphan” and the “prince[cess]-left-at-the-pauper’s door.” Both have made frequent appearances in the memoirs I have coached and edited.
Your life as a myth–is your life determine by the myths you live by? Myths are the stories we create to express how we perceive the world and life. How we live our lives is determined by the myths we live by, but our lives also reveal our myths to ourselves and to the world.
The following is the second installment of a three-part series on the use of myths and archetypes in memoir writing. In the first part of Your Life as a Myth, I wrote about both archetypal patterns in general and about the martyr archetype. In today’s post, I write about the orphan and the prince-left-at-the-pauper’s-door. Both frequently make appearances in a memoir. These posts are excerpted from Turning Memories Into Memoirs / A Handbook for Writing Lifestories.
What is the orphan archetype?
One example of myths and archetypes is the orphan. People who do not develop or maintain personal ties can be said to be pursuing the orphan archetype. Artists are an example of the positive side of this archetype. Because many artists feel detached from roots, family, etc., they are free to tell the truth as they see it, to risk much in the pursuit of their art. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
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When you are writing a memoir, you are engaging in a psychic process of re-creating and articulating a statement of a personal myth. Here we will explore how myths can be a wonderful experience in teaching us this process. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]