Some Things I Know: Balancing yourself and your audience in memoir

For whom are you writing your memoir? Is it really and truly just for you? Great. That’s super. You don’t really need to read any tips about memoir writing then, because it doesn’t matter how you go about it. Do whatever you want.

But more often, people are writing memoir to share their story. Whether you’re planning to hand it to your only child while on your deathbed or aim for publication and distribution on an global scale, the minute you decide who makes up that target audience, they become a necessary part to consider with every word you write.

And yet, if your memoir isn’t true to the story you want to tell, you’re doing your story a disservice. So you have to write for yourself. I know. Just like my thoughts on truth vs. facts in memoir last week, now it sounds like I’m contradicting myself. Apparently, I love to do that. But really, it’s all about balance. You are obviously an incredibly important part of your story. So is your audience.

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Making Your Mark: How do you know what you’re doing matters?

This tweet floated past me earlier today and caused me to pause mid-scroll:

https://twitter.com/FastCompany/status/428570261605351424

The full quote from actor and comedian Aziz Ansari, which I found when clicking through to FastCompany is, “I just want to produce one movie that makes a mark–like Will Ferrell with Anchorman, or Judd and Steve Carell with the 40-Year-Old Virgin–so no matter what happens, I can say, ‘That really captured my voice. That’s the kind of comedy I was trying to do.”

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