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.