Is Writing a Memoir a Good Idea?

writinghandWriting memoirs has become a popular trend, and I’ve had plenty of inquiries from prospective authors wanting to publish their memoirs. And while I won’t turn an author away, I do suggest that you give a lot of thought before putting in the time to write your memoir.

Our life’s journey is certainly interesting to us, but it interesting enough to capture another person’s interest? There’s the rub, and it’s the question you have to answer, honestly, before you publish your memoir.

If you’re a celebrity it’s a no brainer. Our society is obsessed with celebrities and can’t get enough. However, most of us are not celebrities, so that takes care of that. Then again, you don’t have to be a rock star to be famous. Most of us will get our, “fifteen minutes” sometime, and, for some, it may be worthy of a memoir. For example, Daniel Hernandez, the young intern who saved Gabby Giffords’ life the morning she was shot, would certainly be a good candidate for writing a memoir.

Okay, so you’re not a celebrity, and you’re not tied to a major news event. Have you overcome an obstacle in your life that’s beyond the ordinary? For example, are you someone who survived a violent crime? Did you survive a horrible disease that would be fatal to most people?  Have you traveled to some faraway, exotic destination, such as Antarctica, that most people will never see?  Have you had some other extraordinary life experience? Most importantly, would your story be an inspiration to others? If your answer to any of these questions is, “yes,” then perhaps you should give some serious thought to writing a memoir. However, if you answered, “no,” then you may want to reconsider.

Most people read books because they want to be entertained, inspired, or because they want to learn something new. In other words, there has to be something in it for the reader. And unless you’ve had some out of the ordinary life event, then, I’m sorry to say, most readers just won’t be interested reading in your memoir. It has to be a story that inspires others, and perhaps changes people’s lives for the better.

My tip for the day.

GM