The memoir genre, being only a slice of your life, has a good chance for ending happily. I guess I have always been drawn to the — obstacle enters — deal with obstacle — overcome or live with obstacle realization — as a formula for a story. This formula leaves me with the feeling, “If someone else has come through, I can too.”
It doesn’t really matter what the problem or obstacle is, it’s more about how you handle it emotionally. I automatically know (since you are writing about it) that you made it through; there’s hope from the first page. I like to see how you dealt with your problem/situation/obstacle. I root for you throughout the text. I feel your pain, anxiety, tension, and finally, your triumph.
That is not to say that a memoir essay or book has to be about a major incident. For a while, a lot of memoirs were addictions, divorces, death of a loved one or abuse. These are all worthwhile topics that we can learn from. However, I truly love to read about things that I can relate to and apply to my own life or read about being somewhere or doing something I’ve only dreamed of. These are worthwhile topics, too.
I want to learn from you and your experiences. I want to share my experiences and hope you learn from me. Don’t discount your story because you’re not famous. Tell your story because it’s something (an obstacle) everyday people have also experienced or might experience. Find your unique “hook”.
Memoir writing can be healing, no doubt. But, it can also be humorous and insightful. Take a look at your life up to now. You have a story in there that’s worth writing, I just know it.