I welcome and encourage anyone who wants to be a guest on this blog to contact me and let me know what you would like to write about and I will schedule a spot for you. For now this blog will post only on Saturdays. I will be discussing my views on how to write good memoir as well as telling some of my own stories.
Am I a memoirist? Well, I write and I have a life. And I write about that life. That's where memoir starts, but is there more? It might be as simple as that. Anyone who keeps a diary, a journal, or in some way chronicles any aspects of their time living is writing a memoir of a sort. A memoir could be as basic as a daily detailed record of meals eaten or as complex as the deepest philosophical musings one might have of their daily meals. The memoir can be merely a dry compendium of facts, figures, dates, and names recorded for the sake of historical record. It can also be very interesting and entertaining reading.
My primary intent with this blog is to explore this latter type of memoir. What makes a memoir compelling reading and suitable for publication? In entries to come on Wrote By Rote, I plan to examine the nature of content, style, and presentation of memoir writing. We will look at topics such as writing about our own lives and the lives of others, peoples' lives as seen in historical context, and fictionalized memoir.
When I was searching for a name for this blog it seemed like everything was taken already. I wanted the title to have some form of the word "write" and something related to the word "life" since memoir deals with writing about someone's life. As I considered variations on "write", I came to "wrote" and realized that this was the ideal tense to use since it was past tense and memoir deals with that which has passed.
Almost immediately it hit me that the word "rote" was also highly appropriate. Aside from the fact that I am a fan of alliteration and rhyme and I prefer short catchy titles,Wrote By Rote describes what a memoir is. Rote is habitual routine, something repetitive, and it is a process by which things are often learned. Such is memoir--the memories that we have usually worked over and over until they have become etched into our minds. We often remember our past by rote thinking, mulling our memories over and telling the stories to others until that day when they are set down on paper. The memoir is wrote by rote. Grammatically awkward perhaps, but we'll call it poetic license.