Memoir or self-help

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SDSPNovel

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So here is my question. I am writing my story of what it was like to go through a divorce where my wife cheated on me and all the crazy things that I did to try to heal from the trauma. The thing is, I want to write it as a self-help book if you will. With years of therapy, 12 step programs, and studying psychology plus actually going through something like this, I want to share my story to others going through similar hard times in a humorous and vulnerable way, and then include powerful and inspiring messages at the end of each chapter that provide the tangible "psychology" of healing and methods to do so. I am not sure what genre this would fall into, but would like to have an idea when I describe what I am writing.

I am thinking that this would be in the self-help category, but the entire story is that of my own and is essentially my memoir of the last few years of my life. Opinions? I want to share some of my work, but don't know where to post it.

Thanks for the help!
 

cornflake

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So here is my question. I am writing my story of what it was like to go through a divorce where my wife cheated on me and all the crazy things that I did to try to heal from the trauma. The thing is, I want to write it as a self-help book if you will. With years of therapy, 12 step programs, and studying psychology plus actually going through something like this, I want to share my story to others going through similar hard times in a humorous and vulnerable way, and then include powerful and inspiring messages at the end of each chapter that provide the tangible "psychology" of healing and methods to do so. I am not sure what genre this would fall into, but would like to have an idea when I describe what I am writing.

I am thinking that this would be in the self-help category, but the entire story is that of my own and is essentially my memoir of the last few years of my life. Opinions? I want to share some of my work, but don't know where to post it.

Thanks for the help!

First, you can share your work in the relevant SYW section. They're all in that subforum and use the password (except for erotica): vista. However, you need 50 posts to be able to share your own work for critique. You're welcome to comment on others' work to help get you to 50 posts.

When you say, 'studying psychology,' it doesn't sound as if you're a psychologist, though I don't know. If you're not, and have no platform built on this sort of thing, I think self-help would tend to be a hard sell.
 

Fruitbat

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I'd go with self-help, and put the parts from your personal life in as anecdotes where they apply. But, change a couple of details and attribute those parts to fictional "characters" rather than yourself.

Or, clearly label it as a "faux memoir," with names and details changed.

That way, the messages get out, BUT you will not be so likely to get sued. Please remember people don't have to have a legal leg to stand on in order to put you through plenty of cost and misery in court. And when they feel embarrassed or angry, that's the time they're likely to go after you.

Neither self-help by non-professionals/celebrities nor memoirs tend to be big sellers, but of course money isn't always the main reason for writing something. Good luck!
 

SDSPNovel

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Thank you both for the input. I am working on a degree in psychology, so more than likely the self help project will be shelved for quite some time until I have the professional background to stand behind.

I might however go with writing it as simply a humorous memoir. I have a few stories from this process that are quite comical and I have enjoyed just writing them for me, but when I have read them to a few friends they have died laughing. One of them referenced the book "I hope they serve beer in hell." and mentioned that I could write something like that. The book I just mentioned is an autobiography of short stories from the author about sex and drinking adventures. My question is how did he get away with not getting sued? I have been trying to learn what it takes to not get in trouble. As long as no names are used and no description is used, am I not ok? The whole law side of this is very confusing.

Thanks for listening
 

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