Friday, April 15, 2011

M is for Memoirs

Don't do it!

At least the part about trying to publish them in the mass market. Because the reflections upon one's life and the choices they've made are best suited for family and friends, not the masses.

At least that's what I hear. The exception are famous people who have experiences that somehow include the general public...and thus make them marketable.

Now that's not to say that you can't write your memoirs.  Heck, I've already started writing mine. But I call it a personal history.  An accounting of my life, with various details that perhaps my children and my someday grandchildren might want to know about me. I wrote them at the request of my mother.(Have you gathered how influential my mother was to me?) She saw the value in keeping a record. Not only for ourselves but for our posterity.  Because who we are is important to know. Important to our family and friends and perhaps a few others.

Not for the masses.

Of course your life may be such that you need it in print, because hey! you actually saw who killed JFK. Or your life has touched so many people that they are the mass you're trying to reach. Aside of that though, not many of us will have lives that will interest the public. At least not enough that people would pay to read about them.

I wish it were different.  I wish that everyone could appreciate the value of our individual lives, and perhaps reward us for the time we've spent. Because yes, I too believe that so much experience just shouldn't go to waste. But I guess that's what blogs are for.  So embrace them. Share them. Write about those things that you want the world to see. Because by golly, if you can't put them in a blog because they're too personal to share, then you shouldn't be publishing them for the mass market either.  Just sayin'.

Do you have a personal memory that you think would benefit the world? Would you be willing to share, even if you wouldn't get paid?


  1. Interesting, because there's quite a market for memoirs right now. I do think you have to have some kind of hook besides simply telling about your life. I read a review about a memoir of someone who lived in a hippie back-to-nature kind of compound and her sister drowned in the backyard pond at the age of 3. That kind of hook. I think I'll stick to fiction.

  2. Memoirs are very tricky, because you're bound to write about people you don't like and they won't be painted a good picture... It can hurt even those who are close to you. It's also very difficult to find a style that's entertaining, focused but still tells the true.
    To be honest, I personally never was a fan of them and definitely would never write one, but that's more because I don't think my life is interesting :)
    - andrea, an A to Z participant


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