Memoir or Novel?

It’s voting day here in Missouri and you can bet I’ll be out there doing my part! I hope all my fellow voters today do the same. Now, maybe I should have a more patriotic project to show off today, but all I’ve got is the completed green hat. Good enough for March, I think. IMG_5509IMG_5510Pattern is Duality, yarn is Malabrigo Rios in Lettuce. I’ve got enough leftover of it and the teal that I really want to make a striped version now.

Confession time: I didn’t get my two queries done yesterday. Somehow I got stuck in a self-defeating mood, convinced that I’m wasting my time trying to sell this memoir that no one will want to read. And I think I’ve mentioned that I’ve written other stuff too. I’ve got two completed novels in my files. So I thought about how I never did anything with those, and how the one I’m currently revising is surely trite and common. Then I thought about how I’m still struggling to build my Etsy business, and my proofreading client base, and suddenly it hit me that I’m trying all these things and none of them are working out the way I want them to. And bam, before you know it, my head is in a not-so-good place.

Therefore, I spent much of the day outside with the puppies instead. It was a beautiful day, so I don’t consider it time wasted. I’ll consider it a mental health day.IMG_5507

I soaked up sunshine and puppy loving and the smell of spring flowers. I wrote in my journal, and I knit on my hat.


And today is a better day. Nope, I’m not giving up yet! I may still be unconvinced about my memoir but I’m going to work on revising my synopsis and query letter and then contact more agents. But I’m also pondering the idea of fictionalizing it, if this doesn’t work out. There are a few benefits to that route: I get more flexibility and freedom in storytelling, there’s no legal/liability issue from using the real company’s name, fiction is simpler to query (no lengthy, complex proposals), more agents rep fiction than memoir, and fiction is more marketable. But my concern is whether I would lose the heart of the story by making it fiction. Maybe part of its appeal is that it’s honest and true, and if it were a novel, it wouldn’t be as relatable.

What do you think, readers out there? Do you like non-celebrity memoirs? Do you seek them out? What draws you to them?

Here’s Grace’s opinion. Make of it what you will. IMG_5506

Don’t forget to vote, whenever it’s your turn! Every single vote counts!

12 thoughts on “Memoir or Novel?

  1. First, I like your hat! With St. Patricks Day right around the corner the colour is perfect!
    Second, I like that you have a plan A, B, and C for your book(s). That shows that you won’t give up!
    I am no help on your question about memoirs though. I think I would rather read something from non-celebs. Just look who calls themselves celebreties nowadays. But actually I prefer (dark) fantasy when I have time for a book

  2. It’s always great to relax and let the ideas flow. I was going to suggest fiction, ala
    Jodi Picoult that’s based on your own story, but you thought of that! See fresh air, dog therapy, meditation “unclogs” the spirit ! Lol. I am sure you will make the best decision for you. I love the hat, lettuce color is divine .
    The dogs are so pretty, and happy too !
    Good tidings!
    💖 Lise

  3. Yay for voting. It’s my first chance to vote and I’ll be out in April. Mental health days are always important, so for you for taking one. I like to read memoirs, but not so much celebrity ones, mainly becuase I don’t know anything about most celebrities. I think your book will be great. If you decide to novelize your book it will still be great.

  4. glad you had the good sense to go out and play. and that you have alternative ideas for the book. Keep plugging away at the queries, tweaking the synopsis. And think about the fiction – how would that work? Memoirs are tough to write (I know from working with Mom on hers) but they are so real and interesting. I have read a few in the past few years, and I would definitely seek out one from a non-celeb, but it would have to be because it covered an interesting topic. So make sure that synopsis grabs people. 🙂 reading about real people is much more interesting than reading about famous people. 🙂

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