26 December 2004

i am so sick of memoirs

have you noticed that suddenly everyone thinks their life is so interesting? i mean, i've had some pretty interesting things happen to me and i could analyze my life in a book, or talk about how much i love my trevor and how the night we fell in love i just knew it--and really, to my friends, it's interesting. "wow, that's how you met trevor?" "really, you accidentally closed the car door on your sister's hand and you cried?" "your cat is so cute." and etcetera.

but seriously, all of the sudden, there are these terrible, boring memoirs out there that are too much. many of the people don't have writing skills, and of course, don't realize that much of their life is BORING. if you are going to write a memoir, skip all the childhood shit--yeah it influences who you are, but it's boring. and no one cares about your grandma teaching you how to crochet or your first period if it doesn't directly apply to the memoir. i skim that stuff. lately, even if i find a good memoir (rare), i end up skimming much of it.

so if you think your life is so freaking interesting, you should write a blog instead of a memoir, or get some more friends. but if you think you need to publish it in a book, read tons of memoirs, please, and see what i'm talking about. cut all the shit that is even remotely boring--and have a trusted friend read it who is a ruthless editor. study what a memoir is--you focus on a certain element of your life--your eating disorder, your addiction to mountain biking, your obsession with cats (i'm not writing a memoir about luna because words could not capture her wonder!)--and cut all the other stuff. and tons of shitty pictures don't do anything for it.

and if you still think, 'well, hmm, my idea is good but...' don't write it if you don't need to. but if you want to, why don't you fictionalize it? and when you are writing this novel, let real life influence the events, but don't limit yourself--as in, if your brother did or didn't do that, be creative and make something new happen.

now i'm going to work on a novel--that may or may not be true.


Anonymous said...

Hey, it's Krystal (I was too lazy to get an id so I am just posting under anonymous). Just checked this out after reading your last email and I had to comment on this post because you hit the nail on the head. Everyone and their mother thinks their entire life story, cradle to the damn grave, needs to be published. I don't give a rat's ass about their dog dying in second grade or how they styled their hair for the senior prom! Produce the goods, only the goods or just shut the hell up. I feel much better knowing I am not the only one who feels this way:)

s. said...

too true...ha