I've been thinking...

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celticroots

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I've been thinking of writing a memoir. It would be about a series of challenges in my life due to a disability and how they made me the person I am.

Except I feel like no one would believe me if I did write it. Because I was born early (4 months) and am doing well. I am not lying (and I am not saying you guys will think that), but I don't want to get hassled.

This comes after a lot of stories of people who wrote memoirs making it all up.

This is a completely new genre for me.Should I write it anyway?
 

Fruitbat

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I wouldn't even think of people not believing you or connect your memoir to other memoirs where the authors had made things up. So, I guess I don't really follow that line of thought.

Otherwise, from what I've heard, memoirs are one of those categories where supply far exceeds demand. So my only caution would be to consider that. But if you want to do it anyway, go for it. :)
 
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Siri Kirpal

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Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Memoir is a hard sell, so if that's your primary goal, write something else. If your primary goal is to use this fantastic story life has handed you, go for it. If your primary goal is to learn more about yourself (you will, almost guaranteed), go for it.

So, the answer is: it depends on your motive.

How to write memoir: The books on the topic I like are Writing Life Stories by Bill Roorbach and Your Life as Story by Rainer.

Basically, you look at your life, decide what your character arc is, cut out stuff that doesn't fit the needs of your story, write it with both scenes and reminiscences.

Hope that helps.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal
 

King Neptune

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Since your experiences imbue everything that you are connected to, why don't you write your memoirs as fiction. That is, you don't have to admit in public that it happened to you, but, if it's a good story, then people might enjoy it.
 

khobar

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I've been thinking of writing a memoir. It would be about a series of challenges in my life due to a disability and how they made me the person I am.

Except I feel like no one would believe me if I did write it. Because I was born early (4 months) and am doing well. I am not lying (and I am not saying you guys will think that), but I don't want to get hassled.

This comes after a lot of stories of people who wrote memoirs making it all up.

This is a completely new genre for me.Should I write it anyway?

There are always going to be people who won't believe you - and they'll go out of their way to argue with what you said, what they think you said, and what they wanted you to say. In other words these small minded twits just like to argue. Don't reciprocate.

Keep an open mind and absorb the helpful, constructive comments. Any comment, positive or negative, that helps guide you in the right direction is constructive and helpful.

Remember: truth is stranger than fiction, and Hollywood couldn't make this @#$% up. ;)

So - should you write it anyway? Yes. Write it anyway without concern for anything other than getting the words down. Right now there is no wrong way to do it except to not do it, and who knows - you might end up with a memoir as intended or fiction as suggested. ;)

Now - write! And good luck.
 

Gringa

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Remember: truth is stranger than fiction, and Hollywood couldn't make this @#$% up. ;)

+1

Memoir takes a lot of nerve. Guts. Opens a vein for the entire world to see.
 

gettingby

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Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Memoir is a hard sell, so if that's your primary goal, write something else. If your primary goal is to use this fantastic story life has handed you, go for it. If your primary goal is to learn more about yourself (you will, almost guaranteed), go for it.

So, the answer is: it depends on your motive.

How to write memoir: The books on the topic I like are Writing Life Stories by Bill Roorbach and Your Life as Story by Rainer.

Basically, you look at your life, decide what your character arc is, cut out stuff that doesn't fit the needs of your story, write it with both scenes and reminiscences.

Hope that helps.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

I disagree that memoir is a hard sell. I believe it's easier than a novel to sell. And even if it was, I would never tell anyone who thinks they might have a good memoir in them to write something else. Memoirs sell!

OP -- Go for it!
 

gettingby

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Since your experiences imbue everything that you are connected to, why don't you write your memoirs as fiction. That is, you don't have to admit in public that it happened to you, but, if it's a good story, then people might enjoy it.

I don't recommend doing this. It sounds like the OP wants to share a story that might help others. In this case, a memoir is the way to go. The other thing is that memoirs are written differently than novels. Even plot-heavy memoirs that sort of read like novels, still aren't written quite the same.

The one exemption I've read (and I am sure there are more) is Woman at Point Zero. It is a novel based on real events. It blurs the line.

But not all memoirs would work as a novel. I think when writers take this approach they are looking for more creative freedom to play with the facts or alter what really happened. But they are written differently.
 

gettingby

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I've been thinking of writing a memoir. It would be about a series of challenges in my life due to a disability and how they made me the person I am.

Except I feel like no one would believe me if I did write it. Because I was born early (4 months) and am doing well. I am not lying (and I am not saying you guys will think that), but I don't want to get hassled.

This comes after a lot of stories of people who wrote memoirs making it all up.

This is a completely new genre for me.Should I write it anyway?

I think readers believe memoirs until they have a reason not to and some sort of scandal is in the news about it. But most memoirists are telling true stories from their lives. And it doesn't seem like you are going to be writing the type of story that is going to raise red flags. I say go for it!
 

Gringa

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I disagree that memoir is a hard sell. I believe it's easier than a novel to sell. And even if it was, I would never tell anyone who thinks they might have a good memoir in them to write something else. Memoirs sell!

OP -- Go for it!

Interesting...memoirs sell. Good to hear.

But not all memoirs would work as a novel. I think when writers take this approach they are looking for more creative freedom to play with the facts or alter what really happened. But they are written differently.

Mine's written with creative freedom to be written like a novel–not to play with facts.
 

Jim Williams

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I've been thinking of writing a memoir. It would be about a series of challenges in my life due to a disability and how they made me the person I am.

Except I feel like no one would believe me if I did write it. Because I was born early (4 months) and am doing well. I am not lying (and I am not saying you guys will think that), but I don't want to get hassled.

This comes after a lot of stories of people who wrote memoirs making it all up.

This is a completely new genre for me.Should I write it anyway?
From my experience, write it anyway. You have ample catharsis from bringing facts unique to you to light of day, whether your memoir becomes popular or not.

I'd also say it's probable you only need deal with becoming hassled if it does become well known, at which point you'll have the facts to back it up. I'll guess most readers will assume it's an accurate account, questioning only to justify how much they were affected, or its popularity.
 

Siri Kirpal

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My point is that no one should write a memoir BECAUSE they think is will be an easy sale. But yes, a good writer with a fantastic life story who wants to write it should do it. I thought I'd made that plan, but obviously did not.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal
 

King Neptune

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I don't recommend doing this. It sounds like the OP wants to share a story that might help others. In this case, a memoir is the way to go. The other thing is that memoirs are written differently than novels. Even plot-heavy memoirs that sort of read like novels, still aren't written quite the same.

The one exemption I've read (and I am sure there are more) is Woman at Point Zero. It is a novel based on real events. It blurs the line.

But not all memoirs would work as a novel. I think when writers take this approach they are looking for more creative freedom to play with the facts or alter what really happened. But they are written differently.

Recommend what you will, but it is a relatively easy to come up with a story idea that you, at least, find interesting, and it allows one to look at one's life relatively objectively. I mentioned this method, because I am acquainted with someone who used this method and came up with a rather successful novelization of a piece of her life. Whether it would work for a particular individual would depend more on how it was presented than on what the original facts were.
 
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Ruth2

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I'm late to the thread here but if you do go ahead with this project, make sure your memoir is entertaining. It doesn't have to be a jolly jolly piece (unless that's your writing style) but if it entertains, people will read it even if they're read others on the same subject.
 

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