Each of the nuggets of wisdom offered at the end of the chapters is worth taking seriously (even if different authors sometimes offer contradictory advice). Here are some of the tips: Kate Christensen: Memoir writing isnt therapy its better than therapy. It opens out your life to the world and lets the world. Pearl Cleage: Ask yourself the question, Am I prepared to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? If there are lots of things that are off-limits, try writing fiction instead. Pat Conroy: Memoirs hurt people. The question to ask yourself is, if you tell your story, will it do enough good to make it worth hurting people? Meghan daum: Become an expert at something other than yourself.
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Sometimes it came from characters in their books who were incensed by how they were characterized, other times from people who claimed the authors had misrepresented the truth. I review was least surprised to learn that the dogs of the internet got unleashed on ayelet Waldman, author. Bad Mother, who admitted that she loved her husband more than her kids. One of the reasons I wanted to write about this book for Psych Central is that so many of the writers and readers on the site write about themselves, or enjoy reading people who write about themselves. Yet all of the authors. Why we write about Ourselves who addressed the issue of blogging and tweeting insist that memoir writing was something different. James McBride (whose chapter includes a wonderful discussion of how writers of color are treated in the publishing industry) says that memoirists have to speak of deeper things. It is not just unedited spilling, either, of the sort you might do in your personal journals. As Cheryl Strayed said, Im not interested in confession. Im interested in revelation.
And several authors admitted that they often cannot predict how someone theyve described will react. For instance, jesmyn Ward said, i wrote the memoir as a love letter to our family. She her mother read it as a condemnation. Because the authors in this collection have been so successful, it would be easy to imagine that their literary lives are filled with the affirmation and gratitude of legions of fervent fans. And indeed, many do get lots of love. But their achievements do not shield them from criticism: it still happens resume and it still hurts. A surprising number of the contributors also experienced intense hostility.
She tells her students to write the book theyd like to come upon. Sandra Tsing Loh said, Whatever ive been through, i want to make it better for someone else. Every memoir is a story not just of the person doing the writing, but of other people in their lives report — people who are flawed and complicated and human, but who may not appreciate being portrayed in all of their humanity. Each author grapples with this issue, and they come up with very different solutions. Edwidge danticat worries about what her family will think: Id rather have relatives than a booki try to tell my version, but if others object to it, i tell their versions, too. Thats now how. Holmes sees points things: I didnt ask anyones permission to tell the story the way i experienced. Pat Conroy explained why he will always choose the writer over the person who suffers because of whats written because If a story is not told, its the silence around that untold story that ends up killing people.
The memoirists reasons for writing about themselves were sometimes highly idiosyncratic. For example, ishmael beah, child soldier and author. A long way gone, said that writing about himself was a way of establishing his existence: Apart from my passport, i had no physical objects or documentation to. He also wanted to correct misperceptions about his country, sierra leone. For as individual as the reasons the authors gave for writing memoir, all of the authors had one motivation in common: they wanted to write about themselves in ways that would resonate far beyond themselves. Beah, for instance, said the he wanted to show how everyone is capable of violence if you happen to find yourself in circumstances that propel you toward violence. I was most moved by authors who said they wrote the book they wish they could have read when they were struggling. In her teaching, Anne lamott turns that into a lesson.
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History buffs can enjoy the excuse to read about a certain era in great depth and utilize that information to write an historic novel. Writing a book can give you a way to turn an interest in history into something that comes to life and which others can also enjoy. 12.) to make money from doing something you love. For those who enjoy writing as a hobby, what could be better than earning money from doing something you love? Much like successful actors or popstars, making it as an author has the potential to make you a lot of money if youre amongst the ones who make it big.
Why we write about Ourselves: Twenty memoirists on Why They expose Themselves (and Others) in the name of Literature offers everything a reader might wish for from twenty diverse and talented memoirists, including some perennial favorites from the memoir genre. Each author gets their own chapter, which begins with a sample of their writing and a brief and delightful overview of that memoirists career and contributions (written by meredith Maran, the books editor). There are also two boxed features: The vitals, with biographical details and fun facts, and The collected Works, which lists the authors works. The heart of the chapter comes next the memoirists answers to the key question of why report they write about themselves, and much more. Each chapter ends with one more boxed feature the authors wisdom for memoir writers.
By sharing a part of yourself through a book, you leave behind something that can outlive you by centuries. Were still reading writing by the likes of Pliny the Elder and Homer almost 2000 years after they wrote them. If the thing that you leave behind has the potential of making a positive impact to the world in some way, all the better. 8.) For the pure experience, why does someone want to taste a new food or visit a new country? Writing a novel is an experience in itself which some people want to go through for the pure reason that they want to know what it feels like.
9.) to gain a feeling of acceptance from others. Whilst this may not be most psychologically healthy reason to write a novel, some people want to write in order to feel good from the positive feedback, compliments and general approval and acceptance of their writing. This is a slightly dangerous reason to write a novel because anyone who lets themselves determine their happiness based on the approval of others also can be particularly hurt in the event that their book doesnt go down well. 10.) Its cheaper than therapy or than taking a psychology course! What better way to explore and understand your own behavior (and others behavior) than by getting it down on paper, questioning it, analysing it and researching it for the purpose of deeply understanding your characters? Writing a novel can be a great way of organizing our thoughts to help us learn about ourselves and others. 11.) It can be an excuse to study history whilst producing something useful with that information.
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For those who gain their self-confidence from biography external things, such an achievement can boost self-esteem. 6.) to connect with people and help them feel like theyre not alone. In life we often have a tendency to hide certain aspects of ourselves that are a bit dark or that we fear will be considered to be weird, wussy or otherwise unacceptable by society. When characters in books are portrayed as having such very human traits that we can secretly relate to, it can make us feel like were not alone. By writing a book with such characters (often based on yourself or other real people that you personally know) you as the loyalty author can feel like youre helping people to feel like theyre less alone, and that act of reaching out to others in this. 7.) to leave something behind when were gone. As mortals, many of us have a desire to matter and to leave a mark on the world even after were long gone.
The fun thing is that even if you feel empowered from writing a piece of fiction, according to the law of Attraction, the longer you spend focused on an activity which makes you feel empowered, the more likely you are to bring that feeling into. 5.) For the pure challenge and its achievement. If writing you already know that you enjoy writing short stories, blogs, poetry, writing in your journal or anywhere else, a fun challenge you can set yourself is trying to write a novel, for the pure challenge. During the process of writing a book you will most likely improve your writing skills and expand in this way. For some it can help you feel like youre proving yourself. Writing over 50,000 words can be akin to climbing a mountain. Both require skill and stamina, and both can feel like a great achievement when you complete them.
write to share an important idea, a revelation youve made about how humans or society function, a profound realization about life, a strong belief you have or something you think will inspire others to feel better, to become. 3.) Because you want to be the catalyst that brings the joy of reading to others through your book. I think it would be fair to say that most writers and wannabe authors would list reading as one of their hobbies because books have been a source of enjoyment and inspiration for them in the past. Some people can become inspired from reading a good book just because it makes them want to be able to stir in others those wonderful feelings they experienced while reading. 4.) Because having control over a fictional world can feel empowering. In life, many of us can go through times when we feel vulnerable, powerless or like we lack control over our lives. By writing a world where you essentially play god, it can give a great sense of empowerment.
The joy of the freedom professional to write whatever you want. You can take the story anywhere you wish. There are no boundaries. The joy of escaping into another world, one where you can write your dreams into existence and make them come true by living vicariously through your characters. It can be a world where dreams can come true, where you can say everything youve never dared to say in real life, where bad guys get their just desserts, good guys usually win and theres often a happy ending. The joy of connecting with your characters and seeing them develop and overcome conflicts. because you have something you want to say.
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When you talk to people about their dreams or about their bucket list, a very common one youll hear is: I want to write a book one day. Your average garden person who has this dream knows that they want to write because they feel like it, and they leave it at that, not giving it much deeper thought. This article is for anyone who is looking to understand their own dream if they have an urge to write a novel, or for anyone who doesnt share the desire to write a book and is looking to understand this dream that some people have. Why write a novel? 12 reasons why people write books:.) Because its fun, writing can be extremely enjoyable for some people. What makes it fun? The joy of succeeding to paint a picture with words. The joy of invention and creation: creating something entirely new and original from nothing but your mind. The joy and release of self-expression of your thoughts, dreams and beliefs.