Memoir Writing as Spiritual Writing
Thoughts From a Writer
Memoir writing is inherently spiritual writing; the two can be interchangeable. In writing about the self, one describes the soul, either intentionally or unintentionally.
That’s because the self and the soul often refer to the same thing, or at least to similar things. The difference is that one is physical: the self; the other is not: the soul.
A good memoir is intensely introspective. The reader should understand the writer through the plot. Narrative can be most effective when it’s a conduit to divulge something deeper, something truthful and revealing about the writer. It’s this introspection that creates a hook for the reader, individualizing experiences and creating a personal connection through words.
This rhetorical strategy, when used intentionally, can bridge time, social status, gender, space, culture, religion, and language. A good memoir connects writer to reader on a human level, stripping away all that divides to reveal raw emotion and experience. In this stripped away state memoir writing broaches into spiritual writing, because it touches on deep truths transcendent of physical existence.
Further, introspection can connect two entirely disconnected thoughts, and join discombobulated narrative. If the memoir is focused on the writer’s thoughts, timeline doesn’t necessarily matter and neither does cohesiveness. Of course, to successfully produce disconnected writing there must be other elements at play, most importantly predictable structure. Thus, and for these reasons, introspection is an important aspect of memoir writing; vital, even.
As outlined briefly, structure is just as important. If introspection is the glue that holds a memoir together, structure allows it to be understood. If the memoir centers on introspection (focuses on the writer’s thoughts first and foremost), there must be a structure the reader can predict.
The thoughts and events, while not necessarily in sequence, should have a logical order to them. How that logic is ordered is entirely up to the writer.