So many people want to write their life story, but few are truly ready to. Fact and events are easy to share, but the truth is not. Contrary to popular belief, memoirs don’t have to be tell-alls in terms of divulging everything that ever happened in your life. In fact, they definitely shouldn’t. What makes a great memoir is great and TRUTHFUL story-telling.
At one point while I was writing my own memoir, This Is How I Save My Life (Simon & Schuster, 2018), I was really struggling. The whole thing felt like it was slogging along. I was trying to be fair to everyone in the book that I wrote about. I didn’t know “how much” I could get away with leaving out. That’s when I made a new rule that fixed all my writing.
The rule: You have to be 10x more honest in your writing than you want to be.
It’s uncomfortable. It’s weird. But it’ll bust your writing open like nothing else.
My memoir ended up more interesting and with more depth than I could have ever got to without that rule.
So put it all on the page, my friends. And tell the truth.