What does writing a memoir have to do with a writing community?
Show me your friends and I will show you your future.
There’s a bit of folk wisdom—or there should be if there isn’t—that goes somewhat like the above.
Isn’t our belief in the truth of “show me your friends and I will show you your future” why we are reassured when we see our children hanging out with “nice” kids, children who are respectful and serious about school, who benefit from healthy pastimes—drama club, sports, an interesting job—and who find ways to enjoy themselves that is not injurious to themselves or to others? Why? Of course, when we see our children with such friends, we know they are learning, or having reinforced, habits that will serve them well as adults.
How does this apply to writing a memoir? Well …
Show me your writing friends, and I will show you the future of your memoir.
Of course, you can write a memoir in isolation. Many writers have produced memoirs, novels, and poems writing alone in their offices (or kitchens!) Hemingway, for instance, expostulated (ok…I’m using the word “write” too many times so I’m fishing for a synonym) how a writer worked alone, in isolation. But…
Hemingway was actually surrounded by writing friends: Scott Fitzgerald, John DosPassos, Gertrude Stein. He might have put his words on paper while in isolation but he had the opportunity to try his stories out with his writer friends. He could be inspired by the example of their dedication to their craft; he could be stimulated by their writing successes. He and his friends often wrote in Paris cafés, in what can be called a writing community.
Historical note: in Paris in the 1920s, you inserted a coin in a wall heater to turn the gas on to warm your apartment or room. To save money, impoverished writers (Hemingway only marginally among them as his first wife, Hadley Richardson, had inherited a tidy sum) went into cafés where, for the price of a glass of wine—un vin ordinaire— they could write the afternoon away in comparative warmth. Doesn’t sound like isolation to me. In fact, it sounds like Hemingway was probably looking for a writing community to create in rather than do so in isolation. So…
Join one of our writing communities.
The famous American expatriates wrote in what we could easily call a writing community. Doesn’t that make you want a writing community, too? Take advantage of My Memoir Education—it’s free—to participate in The Memoir Network writing community.
To become a free member of The Memoir Network, click here.
In addition, why not look at the Write Your First Memoir Draft Program? Speaking about learning to write better: this program is My Memoir Education on steroids! You couldn’t do better.
You don’t have to write alone. You have choices to make your writing life easier.