On writing about your life

William Zinsser, author of the classic On Writing Well, writes a weekly column on writing, Zinsser on Friday, at The American Scholar. Friday before last he wrote about having the right to write about your life. Whether or not a piece of memoir should be published, there are a number of valid and important reasons to write:

  • To leave your children and grandchildren a record of who you were and their heritage they were 
  • To show what the town or community you grew up in was like
  • To go on a "voyage of rediscovery" of your past, people, and events
  • To save your sanity during times of grief, loss, illness, and other accidents of fate

So consider yourself justified the next time you write a sentence starting, "I remember..."

Read more of what Zinsser has to say about "The Right to Write" and also read his 2006 guide "How to Write a Memoir."