Memoir writing is a step along my spiritual journey

by Jerry Waxler, author of Memoir Revolution: Write Your Story, Change the World

Now that I’m 60, I am facing an age when the end of the story seems to be shimmering out there on the horizon. I’ve always been obsessed with who I am and where I’m going, and now I feel like I have a deadline.

People often talk about the urgency of living each day as if it’s their last. This perspective is especially compelling when someone we know has recently departed. I too find a desire to live each day to its fullest. But my pressure arises from a slightly different reason. I ask, “What if I’m here until I’m 90? How will I live a meaningful life for another 30 years?” That’s a daunting task. And it turns out that memoir writing has become the center piece of my plan. By delving into the inner journey of who I’ve been, I’m learning more and more lessons about where I’m going.

I recently gave a talk at a gathering at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethlehem Pennsylvania about using life stories to build a sense of purpose at any age. I didn’t give the talk during a worship service, and I’m not a preacher. This was an open meeting before the service, when people from the community come to listen to guest speakers talk about all sorts of topics. It was a perfect audience for my eclectic views on life, on memory, and on meaning. And during the three months I spent preparing the talk, I developed a neat way to explain how my life journey makes more sense than ever. It was ambitious of me to try to explain the meaning of life in 20 minutes, but I think I did a decent job. I’ll post the written version later. For now, I’m attaching the audio version. I’d be delighted to know what you think.

To see the written version of the talk I gave about how memoir writing enhances my faith in the future, see my blog entry by clicking here.

For brief descriptions and links to all the posts on Memory Writers Network, click here.