Day 13 – “M” Memoir
I never enjoyed reading memoirs in my younger years. I always viewed them as a type of non-fiction, and my overly imaginative, childhood self was not interested in reading anything resembling reality. Throughout college, I started reading autobiographical pieces, essays, and other non-fiction work from a first person perspective, and decided to give memoirs another shot. I have read a number over the years, some of my favorites being Wild (which I talked about in my Liebster Award Nominee post) and The Glass Castle, and have since grown to love a well-written memoir.
I do freelance writing on the side and, until recently, I had been working on an autobiography project for a client. He set me up with his clients, people who wanted an autobiography written based on their lives. Through a series of interviews and multiple conversations, I gathered enough material to write short bios for these individuals and their families. Hearing their stories, having them open up to me in such a real and honest way, and creating this little book that their families would be able to read and treasure for generations to come made it such a rewarding experience.
As part of this project, I was asked to write up my own autobiography to use as a marketing tool; to show potential clients what they would be getting. It wasn’t anything huge to speak of, averaged about 100 pages, and was self-published; but I wrote it, it was published in some capacity, it was shared, and it was read. I have a number of copies for my own personal use, and being able to look at that piece of writing is simply fantastic!
This project helped me grow a strong appreciation for memoirs and autobiographies. It is incredibly difficult to be completely honest and forthright in this style of writing, knowing that everyone who reads your book will know all your dirty secrets. I certainly left out quite a bit in my bio, which made me realize that for an author to not care about being so vulnerable takes a tremendous amount of courage which I greatly admire.
I highly doubt that I will ever have a memoir published; if it ever happens it would obviously be much later in life. I have found that after writing this bio, and having written fiction based on personal experiences, I certainly prefer the latter. I enjoy taking these experiences, these observations, and tweaking them as needed to fit the piece, to make it more entertaining and less obvious that I am the/a character in the scene.
What are your opinions on memoirs? Do you enjoy reading them? Have you ever thought of writing one yourself?