Truth or Fiction?

Everyone tells me to write the book.  I begin this weblog thinking it might be the best cure for procrastinating. It’s easy to find ways to delay the process and one of the biggest struggles I have is whether to write truth or fiction.

My friends want to know my story. Some say it will be a best seller. I think only my friends will read it. Maybe a few curious relatives will buy it to see if they made the book. Therein lies the issue. How does one write a memoir without revealing sensitive truths of the family?

Dogtown RedemptionConsidering there is a documentary which features my oldest son which will be broadcast on PBS this coming May, his story is already out for public viewing. See Dogtown Redemption. It becomes obvious that my story will have much to do with my view of his story and our mother/son relationship. The producer has encouraged me to write it.

But, there is a more sensitive issue in opting for the memoir genre. It involves other close family members and I am reluctant to publicize something that could affect their reputation or well being. Even though a memoir would be my story, my truth, written by me, for me, and anyone who wants to listen, I’m not convinced it is appropriate.

This suggestion comes from a good friend. “Use your wonderful sense of humor. Write it with an outlandish embellishment of a humorous nature.” It’s a great suggestion but as I look at the snippets of life that I have collected, I worry about my ability to transpose that sense of humor onto the written page.


4 thoughts on “Truth or Fiction?

  1. Thank you for finding my blog and leading me to yours. I, too, when writing memoir, struggle with the issue you describe: the fear of hurting friends and family members when I record my memories. I finally decided for my newspaper columns, blog, and book to concentrate on tales where I could be truthful — except for my tendency to exaggerate — without harming, hurting, or revealing secrets about anyone I would name except for myself; and that I would save darker topics for the fiction I’m beginning to write. I found I was able to attract an audience with such “lighter” writing, and am happy with my decision. I wish you luck in figuring out how to handle this memoirist dilemma in a way that will work for you.

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