ROAD TRIP WEDNESDAY: My Memoir or My Life

11 Comments

When I meet new people and we have that awkward “So, what do you do?” moment and I tell them “I’m a writer” am usually then faced with one of a small selection of follow up questions. Many of them are described very well by Wendy over at YAtopia, along with a few others added in the comments.  One comment that perplexes me is ‘where do you get your ideas?’  I find this such a strange question. I’m perplexed by people who go through life WITHOUT a million ideas infecting their brain, but that’s me.

Anyway, one time, after someone asked me this and I explained that I just have ideas and I don’t really know where they come from, he hit me with a follow-up question: ‘Do you ever write about your life?” To which I replied: ‘Who would want to read that? I can see it now, a book called FOUR FAT SISTERS COMPLAIN ABOUT THEIR FATHER.” Of course I realized immediately that this was  GREAT title, but if it really was about me and my sisters, no one would want to read it. BOOOORRRIIINNNNGGG!

I don’t really like memoir much – I’ve read a couple of decent  ones – but I’d much rather read fiction. I have friends and family members who are dealing with cancer/mental illness/drug abuse etc, so those topics don’t really interest me as reading material. I faced my own little tragedies too, all the typical girl stuff, you know. I don’t want to read about it; I don’t want to write about it either. I write BECAUSE  my life is variously dull or depressing, the  joy coming from the banality of daily life – a roast dinner with my hubby, my daughter singing, a fire in the fireplace, a glass of wine, the usual simple stuff. Not exactly Doctor Zhivago.

Maybe later in life I’ll do something extraordinary, or experience something worthy of memoirizing. I kind of hope not. You know what the proverb ‘May you live in interesting times’ really means right? I guess if I was to write a memoir of my life as it had actually been, the title would be INCREDIBLY DULL AND AND EXTREMELY AVERAGE. 

If I could live the life worthy of a memoir I’d like to read the title might be something like HOW I LEARNED MAGIC, MARRIED A VAMPIRE, SAVED THE WORLD, TRAVELED IN SPACE AND GOT HOME IN TIME TO BAKE AND EAT CINNAMON ROLLS ALL WHILE MAINTAINING A GIRLISH FIGURE AND LOOKING FABULOUS IN A LONG GOWN AND HIGH HEELED DESIGNER SHOES.

That would be the YA title. The adult version would add something about sex and drugs.

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11 thoughts on “ROAD TRIP WEDNESDAY: My Memoir or My Life

  1. I have the same issue: the only people I think might be vaguely interested in my memoir would be my family… and I think even they would be bored by page 2. It’s far more interesting to wrap your life lessons and experiences into your fiction. I’d sooner write great fiction than great memoir.

  2. Yeah, I don’t see myself ever writing a memoir either, and I too prefer fiction. I think memoirs are only for people with extraordinary or very interesting lives. That is not me. I’d so much rather make a contribution to the fiction world than bore people with an account of my life.

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