Have you noticed that so many writers these days are writing memoirs? There are some modern classics:
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Dress Yourself in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris
There Are No Children Here by Alex Kotlowitz
One L by Scott Turow
And then there is the current New York Times hardcover Non-Fiction Bestseller list (April 17/11):
# 1: Onward by Howard Schultz
# 5: Red by Sammy Hagar with Joel Selvin
# 6: All My Life by Susan Lucci
#13: Decision Points by George Bush
#14: Come to the Edge by Christine Haag
#15: Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
And perhaps the ultimate, a memoir by the White House janitor.
The problem is that those considering writing about an emotional point (or points) in their lives, and in many cases, that is what a memoir is, don’t consider seriously enough whether they are ready to do this. Are they ready to open themselves up and truthfully tell this story, which will expose them to a large audience in a way they have never been exposed before? Are they ready to deal with probable criticism from those close to them about what they’ve written?
The point I am trying to make here is that before you think about undertaking this most difficult and personal effort, you should give very careful consideration to whether you can accept the results. If not, then move on to an easier and safer undertaking. If so, then go for it. Writing your emotional and hopefully fresh and inspirational story might be the best thing you can ever do for yourself.
Have any of you ever thought of writing a memoir and decided against doing so? What went into your decision making process?