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You Want the Truth? This Blog Can’t Handle the Truth

September 24, 2011

Ha, yea, just kidding. Maybe THAT title got your attention.


“Do you swear to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help your memoir?”

“Truth or consequences in memoir writing”

Those were the other two title choices for this post…

See, you don’t do the whole truth, or rather, your whole story, in a memoir. That’s my opinion. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying that lying is the answer. Oh yea, no Mr. Frye stuff here, don’t tork off Oprah. I’m saying that you may need to sort out the facts and truths you want to use in your story. What is going to make the cut? You give the reader an intimate rundown of one particular incident. Something that occurred, or didn’t occur, in your life that moved you so much that the compulsion to write about it is overwhelming. At least, that is how I feel the memoir should be produced. Alzheimer’s Disease and my experiences of living with and caring for my Grandpa is something I am compelled to write about.

I want my message to be clear throughout my book, compassion and empathy and patience are the cornerstones of caregiving. I want to accomplish this without sounding all preachy or like a Mrs. Know-it-all caregiver extraordinaire. So, I use my dry and cheeky sense of humor – kind of like what you see here in this blog of mine. I like my voice, because while I have that bit of a sarcastic and self deprecating attitude, I am sincere. That sincerity comes through in my writing, i hope. I have almost 40,000 words so far in my memoir about Alzheimer’s Disease and I’m wondering where to go in my story at this particular point. So, I’m deciding, what’s going to make the cut?

What would make it into yours?

“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.”

8 Comments leave one →
  1. lunarmoth permalink
    September 24, 2011 2:26 pm

    I’ve been wrestling with the same questions since I am also writing a memoir. I don’t want it to be a random assortment of vignettes and gestalt images; I would like to find a theme and choose the events based on that theme. I think I’m getting closer, but I’m not there yet.
    BTW what was the ‘oops’ about?

    • September 24, 2011 2:36 pm

      I don’t know really, I didn’t think my post went out. So then I felt like I had to repost it somehow. I’m glad it got out there though. But yes, sorting out all the truths and bologna in your life and deciding what is relevant and what is not is hard. Keep going. I swear, writing a memoir is better than therapy. I have learned so much about me and how I’ve felt in life. Ha! Thanks for visiting!

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. September 24, 2011 2:38 pm

    Again! Hi lunarmoth.

  3. September 24, 2011 4:43 pm

    Hi, I think all good memoir writing carries some stretching the truth. It’s the way to make it more fun and interesting and tease the reader into turning the page.

    I just heard Sherman Alexie speak this week in Baltimore and his ‘fiction’ is really autobiographical, but is labeled fiction. He used the term ‘auto-fiction’. Memoir is just closer to the truth than his form of fiction, I supposed.

    Good luck with the writing!

    • September 24, 2011 5:12 pm

      Oh Mare, I like that, auto-fiction. Thank you for stopping by, very interesting insight.

  4. September 25, 2011 1:51 am

    I write fiction, so that probably makes me a liar. I try to as honest a liar as possible.

    • September 25, 2011 1:57 am

      Oh yes, being an honest liar is very important – in any form of writing. Thanks for visiting.


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