Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's all about me! Whuh?!

One of the most common things I hear when people find out I'm a writer is that someone wants to write their life story. They've never written anything at all, yet they are driven to tell the world who they are, confident that their story will stand out among all the other autobiographies out there.

Now this probably speaks to my bias, but I've never liked autobiographies. They seem like a festival of me...gilded. If you're worth writing about, then someone will write your story. If you want to write down your memoirs for future generations, great, do it! I fully encourage you to pass along your legacy to your children and their children. Family continuity is hugely important.

However, if you want to tell me about your traumatic life as a child when Bobby Jo stole your PB&J everyday of fifth grade, or that the school jock never noticed you, you're wasting your time. We all have stories. We all have childhood and emotional obstacles. We all have things that are important to us, that shape us into who we are, but is it something you can put on a bookshelf and sell? Maybe, just maybe, it's so you can point to something and say, "Look at me. Aren't I special?"

You don't need an autobiography to do that. My nieces have this thing they do where they'll say, "What has two thumbs and thinks I'm great?" then they give thumbs up, jerk them back against themselves to say, "that would be me." Sure the phrase changes. Sometimes it's "and loves me just the way I am," or "likes my smile". The message is the same: self-confidence.

Love yourself, explore yourself (LOL, take that however you choose), value yourself and it shows to the whole world. You don't need a book for that.

However, if you want to write a book... try fiction.


D.L. said...

I can see someone else writing your life story. I can see writing your own life story. But *asking* someone else to write your life story... now that's either lazy or full of yourself.

Amber Skyze said...

You have some great nieces. :)
I have a great life story, everyone would die to read, but I just don't have the time to write...will you do it for me? LOL

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Amber...I will! I swear I'll write it if you give me the lowdown! Just need a year for my current project then I'm on it!