On Writing About What Makes You You

I was exposed to the genre of Memoir a few years back and it has added to my severely jaded opinion of the modern trends in best sellers. I am firmly against writing about yourself directly. I am even more against being told that stories about self-discovery, about identity, and about the simple truths of normal life are must reads. You might think the self you discovered is unique but I promise you that you are not unique enough and it is incredibly vain of you to look at the massive existence of humanity and think your coming of age is worth my attention. Your story about embracing who you are is just as bad. And the simple truths of normal life are that normal life in the end is forgettable and boring.

Now, I will concede that there are exceptions to my blanket statements. Some people have a story worth telling. If you story is about a key point in history and you bring a desirable unique view or the essence of something that is necessary to explore then please force your story on me and make me understand why what makes you you is important enough.

But if you are writing about the truth of you because you don’t know what else to write about then might I suggest B.S.ing? One thing that makes me really sad is when I read something that is beautifully written, or funny, or poignant but boring. Great writing can’t save a story that shouldn’t be written. There are too many things to read in the world to waste time with things you won’t remember. And chances are, you just aren’t enough to be remembered. Your story is probably at best a dandelion in a field of grass. Attention grabbing with the showy display and the stark contrast but is really just one weed that in the end will be nothing but fluff that blows away with the hot air of the people building you up.


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