View Full Version : memoir of an eighteen year old?

10-06-2008, 12:54 PM
I started to write a memoir about how I met my partner on the internet. At the time I was 18 and he was 19. Now I am wondering if people would read a memoir about an 18 year old. I would appreciate your opinions.

Mac H.
10-06-2008, 01:09 PM
It might be an interesting blog, especially if it will continually be updated with passing other life milestones.

And the age of the book's subject wouldn't necessarily be a barrier. How popular was 'The Secret Diary of Adrian Plass' ?

But, to be honest, the subject of how someone ELSE met their partner just doesn't seem interesting for an entire book. How many times have you begged your parents to tell you the story about how they met? Dozens of times? Two times? Never? Would the story of how a couple like them met be enticing enough to make you buy a book ?

How many books have you personally bought that are similar?

It could be made to work, however ... James Harriott wrote dozens of books about wandering around in fields full of cows that were wildly popular. (Note: Generation gap -- this was a LOOONG time ago in internet years)

It might be worth checking out a format like this one 'Blog Daddy' ( http://www.abc.net.au/rn/lifematters/features/blogdaddy/default.htm) and see how it transforms a series of incredibly mundane activities into something incredibly interesting.

It also keeps a wonderful flow - I wish my writing was as good.

Good luck,


10-06-2008, 09:37 PM
It all depends on the execution, of course. Moving on from stating the obvious...

One of my favorite memoirs is Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy. Almost all of it focused on a pre-teen girl. Another is Name All the Animals by Alison Smith, which is about losing her brother when she was young. There are a lot of coming-of-age memoirs and some have done well. I read most of my favorites when I was in my thirties and forties. I'd read a well-written memoir no matter the age of the writer or narrator, and a "how we met" story could be of interest.

Selling it is a different issue altogether. It might be hard to sell a book that is just about two teens meeting. You might have to tell your story and weave in some broader ideas. I'm thinking of something like Bill Hayes memoirs about sleep and blood. His Five Quarts: A Personal and Natural History of Blood wove his personal story of his experiences with blood (including having a partner with AIDS) with a history of blood. It was roughly half-memoir, half-information. I don't mean should take that approach, but if straight narrative doesn't work, you can mix in other elements.

But you have it in your mind and heart to write it, keep going. How do you feel about what you have so far? Have you shown it to anyone? Do you have enough to get feedback from people who'll tell you their honest opinions? I hope you keep going. I bet that, whether you get a memoir out of it right away or even at all, you'll get writing that you can use for something.

Best of luck!

10-08-2008, 01:47 AM
I occasionally tinker with an essay I'll publish some day called "you're never too young to write a memoir" inspired by a 17 year old girl in one of my memoir workshops. I don't know if she completed it, but her story was certainly interesting enough. I don't know if you can turn your own experience into a story powerful enough for a publisher to sell it readers, but you'll learn a lot by trying. You will gain experience with the genre, you will see the mechanics of trying to turn life into story, and over time you will get better and better. And the notes you create now will become source material for the novel or story you write later.

By the way, add to the list of excellent youthful memoirs, "Three Little Words" by Ashley Rhodes-Courter. She was in her early twenties.


10-09-2008, 05:49 AM
Thanks to all of you for answering. :)