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Vita Sackville-West in her twenties, by painter William Strang, courtesy of Wikipedia

Editor’s note:  some recent events critical of memoir  lead us to share this short entry pointing to some blog posts that we’ve found inspirational on this topic of timing.

While there may be no perfect answer to the question of when you should start writing your memoir, this quote by Vita Sackville-West recently caught our eye.

It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by.  How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment?  For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone.  That is where the writer scores over his fellows:  he catches the changes of his mind on the hop.  ~Vita Sackville-West

Further reflection on the topic of  when lead us to a recent blog post by our friend, The Traveling Writer, Alexis Grant.  She helped us consider why you should take the leap and start writing your memoir now.  While Alexis writes in this post about life and dreams in general, she eloquently communicates that the real risk can be in the very act of waiting.  Dreams may simply change.  And you  may miss out on the opportunity to start writing or continue writing your memoir.

But memoir can be hard to write.  Especially in the day and age of James Frey and most recently, Greg Mortensen.  Both  are  accused of writing lies in their memoirs.

So is it better to wait and write later, after the smoke clears and the art and craft of memoir is once again held in high esteem (assuming that it once was)?

The simple answer is no.  Don’t wait.  Write now.  After all, Miss Sackville-West is right.  Writing really is what can differentiate you from the rest of the world.

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