Authenticity in Memoir

authenticity in memoirPhoto by Zac Durant on Unsplash

What does it mean to be authentic? I have been contemplating authenticity as it relates to writing, particularly one’s life story or memoir.

Telling your truth in your life story is critical to an authentic memoir. Authenticity means genuine, honest, real, raw, unfiltered, fearless, valid and truthful.

Authenticity Is From the Heart

Authenticity is from the heart, there is no doubt.

Speaking from your heart means you open up about who you really are and what you believe.

It also means confronting your doubts and fears. When you face your fears and failures and put it out there for others to read you are taking a risk.

Risk taking is scary, but it also is exhilarating and makes us grow.

Tell the Truth

I think readers want to know if you are telling the truth in your memoir. It is not about embellishing, although how we remember our life experiences can be different depending on who is recalling it.

For the writer it is important to recognize that you are the one telling the story and these are your memories, as best as you remember.

What really matters is whether or not these experiences are significant. If so, then why? What is the point? Or the lesson?

Keep On Growing

I want to keep growing in my life, better understanding and appreciating what I am learning and maybe even getting insight that I wouldn’t if I didn’t spend time looking back and reflecting on those times.

People who are authentic can also learn to live their life free of concern over what others think. Sure, there will always be criticisms, or feedback if that is a better word. But if you live for approval from others then you miss the point of being authentic.

Authenticity in memoir requires courage to face the truth in telling your story.

I suggest doing it in a way that gives some consideration to holding the reader’s attention with a hope they will relate. If we can share in a way that helps each other then we are on the right track.