Writing from our own perspectives

When we first write, we do so mainly to recall our impressions, homing in on what we remember. When we start out writing from our own perspectives, our recollections may have a very “interesting” relationship with the facts. Our version of events may be exaggerated or false, especially if we are writing of our infancy or youth. It’s not that youngsters are wrong, but they see the world from a very different angle and are necessarily concerned with their place in the world, and therefore prone to exaggerating their importance to the scheme of things. As we grow up and grow taller, our vision usually widens, and we see that what we thought was true, cannot always have been.

But since in memoir we are writing from our memories, in many cases we are right to record our own very personal impressions, because they can certainly affect our future perspectives. There is nothing wrong in writing from our own perspective. And doing so gives memoirists one of their best defences.

So far, you may have gleaned that there are two main defences to anyone who may be offended by the tone and tenor of your memories:-

~ Authenticity – When we write in our own authentic style and are as true as we can be to our own purposes, though we can be criticised by some, we still have the right to our self-expression.

~ When we write as much from our own perspective as possible, who among even our most offended acquaintances can really take exception to that? I cannot really argue with another person’s experience of life; I can’t tell them they are “wrong” in laying out their perspectives honestly. I can reassure them that there were no snakes under the bed after lights out and the bells that woke us every morning were not a spaceship’s klaxons because these are unusual fantasies; but recounting most activities, who’s to argue with another person’s point of view?

Thanks for listening.

(To be continued.)

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