A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Is My Life Story Worthy of a Memoir?


     

         Recently I received a comment on a guest post that was published at my blog Tossing It Out on July 20th of 2011.   Yes, sometimes these comments do crop up on older posts, usually due to someone doing a Google search on the topic of the post.   It's good to know that these posts are showing up on the search engines.

        Anyhow, this guest post was by my long time blogging friend and memoirist Karen Walker at Following the Whispers.   If you don't know Karen I encourage you to check out her blog and give her a follow.  Her first publishing success was a memoir dealing with some of the tough life challenges she has had to endure.   Currently she's wrapping up her first attempt to publish a novel.  Her blog posts usually offer snippets concerning her life that might make you put your own situation into perspective.   If you're thinking about writing a memoir or have already done so but have not yet started submitting it anywhere, Karen's blog might be a good place to commune with others of like mind.

         However, getting back to the comment Karen received on her guest post at my blog, it was offered up by Michael Fontana who left his comment on the post "Do's and Don'ts of Memoir Writing:...". Here's what Michael asks:

Karen, I am writing a memoir and am desperate for a glimmer of hope. It seems that the web is chock full of people saying, "do this" or "don't do that". Also I'm beginning to feel my subject matter is contrived, already been done, or that it's just not that interesting. I seem to be stuck on the idea of having to present it from growing up (which is when I showed traits of what is to come in the "arc") and so many say "don't talk about growing up, being bullied, drinking/drugging/recovery" etc. I'm a bit lost because when I tell stories aloud people say "you have to write a book" but the process is making me think that I don't, but I really want to LOL! Thoughts?
           Here is Karen's reply to Michael:

Hi Michael,I want to encourage you to continue to write your story. Try not to pay attention to what others are saying about the do's and don'ts right now, including me. Just put down on paper the story you want to tell. You can always delete or add things later. And it doesn't matter if someone else had similar issues and told their story. Your story is unique because it is yours. And the way you tell it will be unique, too. Just allow it to come out. With editing, you can start to pay attention to some of what others are saying. But not now. Good luck!karen

       Not much for me to add to Karen's simple practical advice. If you feel compelled to tell a story, first of all just write. Then later on you can go back over your work to see what you did right.

       You can find Karen's complete guest post at Tossing It Out.

        Do you think your life is too boring to write a memoir? Have you read any boring memoirs about a person who had an exciting or extraordinary life? What do you think are the most important things to consider when writing memoir?

6 comments:

  1. I thought my life was boring but after looking at my 'bucket list: done' Pinterest board, I wonder if I should write a book. I've had some really cool and interesting experiences, esp. during the San Francisco Bay Area/Grateful Dead years.

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  2. Like JoJo, I think I experienced some interesting moments and changes, but I'm not too keen on writing about it. My older daughter thought I should write about my life, but I told her I've got plenty of journals, maybe she can do it in the future. I keep detailed notes and have photos.

    At this time, I like writing fiction, but I would encourage those who are wanting to tell their story, to take Karen's advice, too.

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  3. Hi Lee,
    Thanks so much for the shout out today. I am so glad you are shining a light on telling our stories. I truly don't think anyone's life is boring. We all have something to share that might touch someone else in a particular way. You are a sweetheart for all the kind words you said about me and my blog. Hugs, Karen

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  4. Just write first. Edit to make it good!

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  5. I follow Karen's blog. She is an amazing person.

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  6. Hi Lee - the family and our loved ones would always love to read our stories ... I don't have kids - but have thought of a way to tell my life backwards .. i.e. going back to my long roots of over 100 years ago ... being creative and writing .. are the salient points I think.

    Your life with your parents is enticing ... and fun to have those memories that are disappearing ...

    Karen's done an amazing job through her life - coping with much ...

    Cheers to you both and to Michael .. Hilary

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Arlee Bird