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?