What Is “Dark Memoir”?

All memoir writing can be difficult for writers, and bring up a lot of fear, especially when it comes to sharing it with other people. However, one type of memoir is the hardest type of memoir to write, and that is the form of memoir known as “dark memoir.” Dark memoir is a common sub-genre within the category of memoir, but most writers who are writing it don’t know that’s what they’re writing.

Dark memoir is a memoir that contains taboo topics and/or controversial material. Dark memoir contains elements and themes such as narcissistic abuse, addiction, and usually includes details about the writer’s feelings of rage toward family members or former partners. It is hard to write this kind of memoir, and even harder to share it. Fear is the number one obstacle that holds writers of dark memoir back from writing and sharing their work.

Dark memoir writers may obsess about if they will be rejected, blacklisted, shunned by family, or cancelled, and these obsessive fears block them from getting any writing done at all. In order to move past this, writers can learn more about dark memoir and why it is so important that they share their story with the world, no matter how afraid they might be of what others might think. It’s also important to make responsible choices about what goes into the memoir, and what stays out of it, as well as learn about different publishing options to see what would be the best fit for a writer of dark memoir.

I talk more about this in the video below:

I’m teaching a workshop for memoir writers (and those who want to be) this Saturday, Oct 21 called Writing Into the Dark: How to Write Dark Memoir, and we’re going to be covering all of these topics and more.

The workshop is from 1:00 – 3:00pm EST, but will also be recorded for anyone who can’t make it live. You can register and find out more details here:


This is a great workshop for first-time memoir writers, and also more seasoned writers who are looking to explore a sub-genre of writing not often talked about in the mainstream. If you have any questions, please send them to me here.

And hopefully I’ll see you there!

Lauren Sapala is the author of The INFJ WriterThe INFJ Revolution, and the creator of Energy and Intuition for INFJs, an online course for INFJs on intuition, relationships, creativity, and more. She is also currently offering a free copy of her book Firefly Magic: Heart Powered Marketing for Highly Sensitive Writers to anyone who signs up for her newsletter. SIGN UP HERE to get your free copy.

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