Who are you? How did you become the person you are today?
Beth Moore suggested an exercise that caught my attention in her Bible study, Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed. You know me… I’m always thinking about memoir, so immediately I thought how useful her idea would also be for writing memoirs. Here’s her idea:
She suggests listing several people God has used to make you who you are today. Beside each person’s name, briefly describe what that person has given you, done for you, and shaped you.
So here we go!
Beth continues, “Now go back and draw a ‘+’ under each line to add it to the next. Then in the space under the last line, jot down several ways you are distinct from all of them. The sum total is a tiny glimpse of who you are.” [emphasis mine]
Isn’t that a clever idea?
It’s fun—and exciting, and humbling—to look back and connect the dots: to discover the ways God was leading, one dot-person at a time, even when you might not have realized it, to make you the special person you are.
Use memories and discoveries generated by this exercise to write your stories. What would your life be like if you had not met those specific people? Thank God for bringing them into your life—and write your stories!
Write life into those people. Avoid leaving your reader with just a shadowy idea of each character.
Write so your readers feel they’re beside you and your characters, reliving your experiences with you.
You don’t need to include every detail: Leave out irrelevant stuff. Include info pertinent to your story.
If possible, include photos. They add details, create interest, and make a lot of difference to your readers.
Pray, too, for God to help you
write a memoir that will bless those who read it.