Let's look at the question that most all students have asked at some point, "Why write?" There are many reasons in which people choose to write, too many to list here. However, in the following essay (written by the marvelous Seth Brumbaugh) you will find many of the main reasons people choose to transfer their thoughts to paper.
For starters, some people write to record a memory. This is one of the most common motives for anyone to pick up a pen and paper. Whether it be keeping a journal or writing a memoir. Both accomplish same purpose, preserving the memory for future reference and bringing some sort of order to the experience. This is where I believe the importance of literature lies, reflection. This can be for you, like a journal, or for others to see, a memoir.
Memoir appropriately comes from the Latin word for memory. The focus is usually on the writer's experiences with a person, place, or event.
This is also the focus of a journal, the only real difference lying in the intended audience. A journal is for the writer only, while a memoir is written with the purpose of communicating the memory to others. In 'Finishing School' by Maya Angelou, she writes a memoir to tell of her upbringing as a black child being taught white female etiquette. Here, her intentions of the piece is to give an understanding of what it was like for her as an underprivileged slave child to interact with her white peers in the 1930's.
Writers write to explore the self. To most, this is the easiest form of self-discovery. While this purpose is somewhat similar to writing to record memories, the emphasis is different. The writing is produced to give a medium to look into your past,