Wednesday, August 8, 2012

You Have a Memoir Within

"Come live with me; the best is yet to be. The last for which the first was made. . ." All you geezer guys and gals know the rest of the poem, or if you don't, you can always look it up on the internet. I would agree with poems if I could get up in the morning with hearing various joints complain, or I didn't take pills to replace essential functions my body used to provide free of charge: thyroid, for example. But there are benefits to growing older that kids don't enjoy or appreciate. 

One is time to reflect if we choose to do that instead of watching TV or surfing the web. Blaise Pascal appreciated the importance of reflection in the Seventeenth century when he said "All of man's misfortune comes from one thing, which is not knowing how to sit quietly in a room." Pascal also invented roulette, so he wasn't an ivory tower philosopher all the time.

    The second benefit of growing older, and it is by far the best benefit, particulary if you are a writer, which I am. That benefit is experience. Fifty-plus years teaches more about relationships and character than all the psychology or sociology ever taught. That's where us geezer writers have it all over those young whippersnappers. We can create well-rounded, realistic characters, whether we're populating our imaginative worlds with lovers, heroes, villians, or, gulp, teenagers, because we've been there, done that, and if we don't have the tee shirt to prove it, we have the physical and emotional scars. 

We have experienced love, death, illness, war, giving birth, loyalty, betrayal, and everything in between. So when someone says he just wrote his first novel at the age of eighty, I want to read it. There may be spelling errors, grammatical goofs, and a few awkward sentences if that person has little practical experience at writing, but what there be in spades is life experiences, richer, more heart-wrenching, more real that what can be imagined without having lived a long life. 

So if you geezer guys and gals are not writing a novel, at least write a memoir. Don't waste all that experience! Get with it!

D. R. Meredith is author of nineteen crime novels and historicals, book review editor ofRoundup Magazine for twenty years, as well as a former contributing book reviewer for the Amarillo Globe News, Texas Books in Review,and Kirkus. She is a speaker at conferences and writers' workshops. She lives in Amarillo, Texas, with her husband of "more years than either of us can count."


Links to Doris' books:, instead I apologize for any inconvenienc


Diane Dean White said...

So ture about those memories being placed on paper, D.R. If for no other reason than for one's own enjoyment....though for me it's to continue family history and exciting stories shared by my grandmother. We can always write about our daily pains, but unless we share past family history and precious memories, they will be forever forgotten.

tomynate said...

Good article. We definitely need to write down our experiences and stories. If those young whippersnappers don't want to hear it while we're alive, they will after we're gone.


Tom Blubaugh, Author
Night of the Cossack

Babs Mountjoy said...

I agree about the ability to write good characters, and I also think we can write about older characters (take that, sister romance writers!) who are more cautious and knowing about pitfalls of love instead of jumping in the sack with the next pretty face. I know I write those men and women, and I think they're much more realistic.

Babs Mountjoy
Pittsburgh Lady Lawyer series
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