Most memoir writers worry about how their book will be received, but for those writers who are writing about controversial themes, they have an even bigger worry than what other people will think, and that’s whether or not anyone will even believe them.
When memoirs feature controversial themes such as narcissistic abuse, abuse by a parent, relationships that revolve around mind games, and/or control and manipulation, many writers feel they won’t be believed because they weren’t believed when it was happening to them in real life.
Writers who are writing this type of memoir may feel that it’s pointless to share their story, or they may fear they will be punished for publishing their story. While it is true that some people won’t believe the writer, it’s also true that other people will believe their story, and will be inspired to take action in their own lives as a result of the writer expressing their own truth. Many readers will find strength from reading about the writer’s experiences, and they may even find the courage to name and describe their own painful experiences in life. They also may find the strength to leave an abusive situation that they’ve felt trapped in for some time.
It’s important that writers who are writing about painful experiences in life share their stories with the world. Even if not everyone has a positive reaction, more people will react positively than one would expect, and more people will be helped by the writer having the courage to express what really happened to them.
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 Writer, The 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.