The Umbrella of Creative Nonfiction

A memoir is a written factual account of somebody’s life.  A literary memoir is usually organized around a specific theme or part of the author’s life.  It is a story with narrative shape and includes the author’s reflections.  Memoirs are nonfiction—that is, they must be true—but they are distinct from autobiographies, which are historical documents obligated to be a thorough, chronological record of a life.




An Introduction to Spiritual Memoir

Broadly, spiritual memoir is memoir organized around a spiritual theme. Spiritual memoirists write because they know that, through writing, they will uncover something sacred, honor it, and share it with others.

  • Spiritual memoir is a genre in which the story of one’s life is written with particular attention to the mysteries of that life. Spiritual memoirs ask, “What’s the source of my existence?  What makes me tick?”  They uncover and honor the sacred in the author’s life story.
  • The writer of spiritual memoir is open to spiritual growth through the writing process. Writing becomes an extension of the spiritual journey.
  • Spiritual memoirists write well enough that their experience of the sacred is made available to the reader.