Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Is Writing a Memoir a Good Idea?


Writing memoirs has become a popular trend. Back when I was publishing books for other authors it seemed like most of my inquiries came from people wanting to write their memoirs. My advice today is the same as what I gave back then. Ask yourself what is it about your life story that's so compelling that other people would be interested in reading it? It's a question you need to answer honestly before proceeding any further.

Our life's journey is certainly interesting to us. After all, we're the star of our own show, but I want to be brutally honest here. No one, other than your immediate family, and perhaps your closest friends, really cares about how wonderful your spouse is or how smart your kids are. Nor does anyone care about the details of everything you did on that uneventful cruise to Hawaii. So, the first thing you need to do is to check your ego at the door.

Have you overcome an obstacle that's beyond the ordinary? For instance, have you survived a violent crime? Did you survive an accident or horrible disease that would have been fatal to most people? Have you traveled to some faraway, exotic destination, such as Antarctica, that few will ever see? Were you ever a first responder? Were you ever in showbiz? Have you had some other extraordinary life experience that few people ever will? Most importantly, would your story be an inspiration to others? If your answer to any of these questions is, "yes," then perhaps you should give some serious thought to writing a memoir.

People read books because they want to be entertained, inspired, or because they want to learn something new. In other words, your memoir has to include something out of the ordinary, and there has to be something in it for the reader. Ideally, it should be a story that inspires others, and perhaps changes people's lives for the better.


GM

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