I use Feedly for daily reading. I have put keywords and added news media websites to access quickly. Feedly filters highly-shared and most-liked articles in the areas I care more than everything else.
One of the keywords I have on Feedly is ‘writing.’ I get some of the greatest articles on writing that the web can offer. I browse the headlines, click one or two, read through until I get inspirations for my next blog post or my current short story project.
There was an article about writing a memoir. Things that you should keep in mind when working on one. One of my writing goals is to write one about my grandmother and dad’s lives, so I clicked.
I read through. The article told me that a memoir is one of the most difficult genres to write. And, there shouldn’t be any unresolved emotions left towards the events in the story, especially when the story is to be presented to readers who may give a bad review and the bad review might feel like a personal attack to the writer.
I stopped reading. The reason I want to write a memoir is to keep the emotions alive. To feel their pain and to sympathize with my family. To make everything so real and hold them tighter to my heart. These objectives might generate some bad reviews among readers and the reviews, of course, might feel like a personal attack to me.
In this case, If I have some unresolved emotions – such as anger and sadness – about some of the events I may want to document, does it mean that I shouldn’t be writing a memoir until I get rid of them?
I find this particular process, of reading an online article and taking practical advice on something I try to do, a bit confusing. What makes it confusing is that I mistakenly take it as an instruction, not as advice.
What I should take from the article about things to remember before writing a memoir is that authors get bad reviews. To live as a writer means that to have readers who don’t agree with you or/and have many other opinions about your story. So, be ready for it.
The article simply suggests not to write a memoir if you are the type of person who can never handle negative feedback on your personal stories.
Advice is advice. It is not an instruction you must follow. Sometimes readers get discouraged and feel lost because they take advice as instructions. Advice is there for us to take and apply in our customized way.
This type of articles is beneficial, especially for aspiring writers, because they give us a general sense of the topic, potential danger/loopholes as well as the positive outcome of it. It is up to the reader that any advice will end up being helpful or a disappointment.
Don’t listen to writing advice as if it is an instruction you should follow step by step. Advice isn’t a tutorial video.
Take it as an advice of a new thing you haven’t been taught. Advice can also be a new possibility, which you haven’t realized that you already have in yourself.