This article was contributed by Sara Sparrow
People over 60 have plenty of stories to tell. Whether passed on from generation to generation, or told as part of reflection, telling a story can be a powerful experience. Especially for those who were there.
Perhaps that's a good reason to write a memoir.
If you're over 60, then you've seen a lot of things. Throughout your lifetime, you have been a toddler, gone through school, started your first job, and probably gotten married and had kids. In short, you've lived your life to the full.
With that said, you must have a good story to tell. That's why a memoir can do you plenty of good. In fact, in this article we will explore 3 major reasons why you should start writing a memoir.
Writing a Memoir
It's important to know that writing a memoir is different from writing a book. But how?
With a book, you're often making things up - the genre is up in the air while you're brainstorming. But with a memoir, you're telling your life story. And, since you've been through so much, there's little need to brainstorm when everything lies in your memory.
Essentially, with a memoir you're opening your heart to a story. For people over 60, it's especially important to open yourself up. Whether you want to tell a story about your past, or write a specific memory, a memoir can speak volumes. Especially when told by someone with many life experiences.
With that in mind, here are 3 key benefits of writing a memoir.
Therapeutic and Enjoyable
First and foremost, writing can bring about a therapeutic vibe. It's no secret that writing comes with health benefits. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, writing...
- Reduces anxiety and depression
- Reduces traumatic episodes
- Improves blood pressure levels
As such, writing can be both therapeutic and enjoyable. Therefore, writing a memoir can bring about the same vibes. When reliving old memories, writing about them can help you process them.
But what if there was a traumatic moment in your life? Well, it's up to you whether you want to mention it in your memoir or not. The important thing is to be comfortable writing.
Allows for Wisdom to Flourish
Wisdom is a powerful thing in the human experience. In fact, wisdom always comes from experience. Plus, people are always looking for some form of wisdom. That's why a lot of people go to their elders sometimes to ask for advice.
So how can writing a memoir allow for wisdom to flourish? That all depends on what the focus is going to be for your memoir. While some memoirs tell one's whole life story, others may focus on a specific era of one's life. So, whatever you want to focus on in your memoir, you can pull nuggets of wisdom from that focus.
Since you have experienced so much in your life thus far, you definitely have a lot to tell. A memoir opens the door to sharing great words of advice to the youth. Just as people over 60 can learn from the youth, the youth can in turn learn from their elders. A memoir allows for an elder not only to tell their story, but to look back and share important life lessons. From closure to completeness, wisdom can flourish.
Leaving Behind a Legacy
When you're in your 60s, you will likely start to think about what you will be leaving behind. In other words, you want people to remember you when you're gone.
Suppose you have children, grandchildren, or even great-grandchildren. What would you like them to know about you? Perhaps you would like to bond with them through stories? That's a great thing - something precious in a family.
So, when writing a memoir, it's important to look back at your life.
You may want to ask yourself these questions:
- What kind of job or hobby did you have during your life?
- How did you inspire people?
- Who were your closest loved ones?
- How did you change your community for the better?
These types of questions help you think about all the good and contributions that you've made over the years. Maybe you'll inspire someone to either follow in your footsteps, or to learn from your life's story.
As you can see, there are many good things that can come from writing a memoir late in life. It's a special treasure that will live on for years and generations to come.
As mentioned, writing a memoir can do the following:
- Heal and inspire you
- Bring wisdom to life, and
- Be treated as a family heirloom
It's never too late to start telling your life's story. Remember, your story is what you make it. Your family, friends, and loved ones will thank you.
Sara Sparrow is a writer and editor providing professional essay writing and dissertation help. She is also a contributing writer for OX Essays. As a content writer, she writes articles about tech and marketing conferences, consults businesses, and write books. In her spare time she likes to spend copious amounts of time at either the library or at a coffee shop, where can be always be seen with a book.