Ever had a writing project just pop up and take over your life? This month I’m going to tell you about the memory book I’m working on just now — partly because it’s taken over my head — but mainly because, now I come to think of it, you might be able to make money from something similar. Or make people happy for nothing if that’s your thing.
I’m compiling and publishing a little book for the family and friends of an acquaintance who died a year or so ago. Now, with the internet age and all, this particular project has been made simple by the fact that this pal left behind several thousand fascinating and witty emails. He was a member of an email list of a couple of hundred people, who all bickered and joked and swapped news and stories on a regular basis. After the nth person said, ‘I wish I could read his emails again, they were so funny,’ I realised that we could actually do it. Continue reading “Does someone you know want to write a memoir?”
by Marlayna Glynn Brown
Being a memoirist isn’t easy. Creating art from real life requires story-telling talent, thick-skin, and the ability to hide a character’s identity without straying from truth. Writers like me, who couldn’t produce an entertaining piece of fiction to save their own lives, have no choice but to write what we know.
I’ve been an avid diarist for thirty years. It’s easy and natural for me to record events, thoughts, feelings and interpretations. When I was given writing assignments in high school, college and then grad school, I learned I could only base my work on what had really happened to me, and events I had actually experienced. Jumping from reality to imagination was never easy for me. Any time I tried to veer from reality and create a person or event that didn’t exist or happen, I found myself face to face with my own folly. The recording of actual events and people isn’t always necessarily interesting. A memoirist must be able to weave the threads of reality into a tale that others find entertaining. A memoirist can interlace facts with creative description, and events with ring-side interpretation. Characters and events can be presented, and sometimes shaded as the memoirist sees fit. A writer needn’t necessarily tell the reader anything in particular, and can merely present, or just partially describe without definition. Continue reading “Memoir of a Memoirist”