Today a friend of mine handed me a copy of an article she found in Readers Digest about writing memoirs, "The Story of Your Life," by Joe Kita. You've probably read a few memoirs yourself. I've read some of those mentioned in the article such as The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes, and Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love.
The article is well worth reading. There are some excerpts from a few memoirs at http://www.rd.com/your-america-inspiring-people-and-stories/5-extra-memoir-excerpts/article112521.html. The whole article is found in the January 2009 issue.
We don't have to be special to write our memoirs. If you consider most of the great fiction of the past fifty years, it's about ordinary people trying to live their lives. If you consider your own life, there is a story to tell. You don't need to be a survivor of a tragic experience, or someone who has achieved great heights. All you need to do is share your life in writing. This can be a legacy to your children, grandchildren, or even a niece or nephew. Another close friend of mine has been keeping a journal since she was in middle school. She plans to leave these journals to her niece. Her life, while not particularly exciting, is rich with history nonetheless. She came of age during the Vietnam War, protests, and Woodstock. She was part of history and because of those journals, her memories are archived forever.
Oftentimes, young people don't care about what happened fifty years ago, until it's too late to ask their relatives who lived during that period. Write your story and bequeath it to your loved ones. If you were born in the 1940's, you grew up before their was television. Imagine your great grand children living in a world without television. Did the milkman deliver milk to your house when you were a kid? Mine did. I remember coming home from school on winter afternoons to find the bottles had exploded and frozen cream oozed down the sides.
Start writing before you forget. You may find that your journals can also provide you with fodder for your next novel.