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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Some Things I Know: What does truth mean in memoir?

The truth of your memoir has to revolve around fact, right? Otherwise, you may be writing something super, but it’s probably not memoir. At the same time, one of the greatest challenges to writing memoir is that facts also have a tendency to obscure the truth of your story at times. Sometimes you have to leave them out. Or even change them a bit.

So, definitely stick to facts, but don’t stick to too many facts. You’re welcome! Good luck with that. It’s a confusing bit of advice, I know, but writing memoir is about filtering through all the facts, choosing the ones that contribute to the truth of the story you’re telling and leaving the ones that are irrelevant or distracting in your memory, but out of your memoir.

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Stop trying to be me, Amy (Just kidding, I love you. Please be my best friend.)

Someone has made an NBC television show about an American moving to Sweden.

It wasn’t me. It was Amy Poehler. Of course. Because, just six years after launching an NBC television show about the hilarity of working for local government, Amy is continuing her quest to tell my life story in reverse for the American viewing public. I assume, a few years from now, we’ll get to indulge in her comedic rendition of a small town girl having a mediocre college experience at a Big Ten university. Be prepared, there will be no discernible plot or meaningful takeaways.

So there’s this show. It’s a comedy called Welcome to Sweden and it starts in July. What does this mean for someone who recently released a book on nearly the same topic, plus some weird cults and indentured servitude? I don’t know. It seems like an opportunity, but I’m not sure what that opportunity is. Will people accidentally buy my book, thinking it’s associated with the show? Should I send the book to Amy so she can write a desperate American house servant into the second season? It certainly means, as this show is based on the real life experiences of Amy’s brother, that if my sibling was famous, the Swedish Lessons version of Welcome to Sweden would have already happened. Come on, Brianna. Get with it.
While I mull over how Swedish Lessons can hop on Welcome to Sweden’s coattails, you may enjoy the trailer. It looks amazing.

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Swedish Lessons Giveaway and Kindle Sale!

Could it be? It’s been almost a year since Swedish Lessons launched. It seems like time has flown by, but at the same time, it seems like years since the Kickstarter campaign and self-publishing process was consuming my life. Have you enjoyed your break from me jabbering about it? Good! It’s over!

To celebrate the first year of Swedish Lessons, I have two exciting announcements. First, I’m doing a 10 book giveaway on Goodreads. Sign up using the link below, and send it to your friends. Or people you don’t like at all. I’m not picky. Also, the Kindle version of Swedish Lessons is now just $2.99. Three bucks for all the crazy Swedish misadventures you can handle: that is a deal!

These are the best ways I can think to thank everyone for an incredible year, full of tons of support, lots of readers and an all around delightful reception of my first book. Here’s to you!

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Friday Announcement: Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

There is a lot to be excited about this weekend. First, Daylight Savings Times ends, meaning the Annual Best Night of Sleep Ever celebration is upon us. Plan your leisurely Sunday brunches accordingly. Also, for childless adult like myself who spend the second half of October pretending like Halloween is something they’re going to do, the stress of that farce is officially over. As if those two things aren’t exciting enough, this weekend kicks off a very exciting, month-long, Swedish Lessons-related event.

What is it?!

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