Date of Award
Master of Arts in Mass Communications with an Emphasis on Writing
This work is the combination of several different pieces harvested from a cluster in my graduate program that focused on writing the memoir.
Memoir writing, for those who may be unfamiliar with it, is the art of dissecting memories into pictures, textures, aromas, melodies and flavors, then reconstructing them into some coherent form so as the reader may feel as if she has lived the experience herself. This is ultimately the goal of the memoir, but I do not believe it is the purpose of writing it in the first place.
The purpose of the memoir is reflection. The writing of the memoir is the very personal and private act of examining one's own actions, personality, blunders and triumphs. It is the task of explaining to yourself how and why you are the way you are.
And that is the easy part.
The hard part is realizing that at times you are not a very good person at all. To so closely inspect your own actions, your own flaws, is humbling at best, embarrassing at worst. Writing your memoirs makes you yearn for a real-life time machine so that you may go back and slap yourself in the face, or at the very least give yourself a good shake and a stem lecture.
However much cringing you do in the process of writing your memoirs, there are happy moments, too. Revisiting simple, joyful times, for one. Visiting with loved ones who are long gone for another, and having the chance to tell the world how great they were. Quite a tribute, in its own way.
The memoir is the writing of your history, however biased it may be. And while it may not be an easy history to write, if you are honest with yourself, it will be worthwhile.
Dover, Julia, "The Empty Page" (2004). Theses. 149.
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