The cliché advice I received while living the events of my memoir — “Take it one day at a time” — is also part of my revision strategy. Progress is slow, but I’m taking it one page at a time.
Continuing with a revision theme this month, I’m sharing a resource for memoirs. I finished my “vomit draft” this year after reading The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing & Life by Marion Roach Smith.
On The Memoir Project Blog, Marion shares News You can Use with examples of short memoir — an op-ed or personal essay. She encourages you to read and study the links. Some links from her site:
My recent favorite The Power Of Memoir. Listen In. This post includes a link to a one-minute radio essay from Dr. G. Thomas Couser “Memoir and Social Change.” I like this one, because I saw fiction writers discourage another writer from writing a memoir in an online writer’s group discussion. Citing the book-buying market and the writer’s first-time status, she was encouraged to write her story as fiction.
I’m all for being realistic. However, the discussion made me wonder how many books would be published, if we all listened to “the market isn’t buying …” or “no one wants a book from a first-time author” advice? Fiction writers certainly don’t. First-time novelists are published. Picture book writers don’t. First-time picture book writers are published. Memoir writers don’t. First-time memoirists are published. If we all followed this advice, we would only have books from celebrities like Snooki or true-crimes from the headlines memoirs.
I haven’t looked back at the writer group’s discussion, but I shared that I am writing a memoir using many fiction techniques to craft my story. However, I pointed out — “It’s a true story and that’s how I’m writing it.” Plus, I shared Marion’s book and blog as a resource.
Thanks to Susan Oloier for giving me Kreative Blogger Award. She’s a busy writer with a blog, with a collection of essays about growing up in the 1980s My Life as a Misfit and with the recent release of her novel Fractured about miscarriage and marriage. She also had an essay published in February on The Daily Beast about her son Zane, who has Trisomy 18.
I should also say thanks for letting me vent about the “first-time” part. Have you been on any writer rants this week?