Should you write your memoir?

Don’t even think about it unless you are committed to the level of obsession.
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There you are at the hostelry of your choice, regaling your best amusing anecdotes and someone guffaws enthusiastically; 

‘You should write a memoir!’

Shoot that person.

Or, you are legless having had some awful accident/disease and someone deeply moved says:

‘You should write a book!’

Kick that person. 

How writer's see their work
How the writer hopes their book will be received

The ‘Pia Should I write a memoir?’ test 

  1. Do you want to lose more time writing about your fun life than you actually spent living it?
Real life footage of the writer
The task of writing

2. Do you want to lose a fortune on self appointed editors and writer’s forums offering paid advice? Buyer beware. There are great resources out there, there are great editors too. 

But  in my experience the ratio is approximately 4:1 i.e four will eat you for breakfast and spit out your dreams.  

It is almost impossible to distinguish good from bad until you have been separated from your money. 

These are good signs;

Professionally accredited


Long turnaround time

Need a lot of information (chapter breakdown, character list etc)

You have to persuade them that your work is of good enough quality to take on before they will even let you join the queue.


The professional world as viewed by the writer
A herd of writers

3. Do you have thick enough skin?

There is nothing more personal than memoir but it is essential to learn not take criticism personally as eventually you are going to have to invite people into your confessional.

A word of advice – stick to your genre. Don’t do what I did and send memoir to a women’s fiction group.

I should have been warned from earlier comments on others work. In this particular group every protagonist had to be a gladiatorial superwoman warrior.  At fifteen, I was no Boudicca but a romantic slip of a lass. That is salt to the slugs of women’s fiction.

My favourite spit-the- cornflakes critcism –‘Pia is weak and obsessed and should have gone into therapy by page 50’


Essential day wear for the writer
The writer as viewed by a manuscript critiquer

So, don’t even think about it unless you are committed to the level of obsession, have huge amounts of disposable time and money and the skin of an armadillo.

But the good news is that eventually you meet absolutely wonderful other writers, and then the fun really starts!

Writer's retreat! We're all going on a Summer Holiday!

What have  your experiences been on writing memoir?- please do comment, I’d love to know your thoughts.


I love writing my little bloglets on writing and life in Italy and England. If you enjoy them then please follow and, if at all possible share. 


  1. Writing is such a crazy adventure! I would have never guessed it would be this much work! Thanks for your wonderful insight!

    1. Hi Amy, thank you for your kind comment! Isn’t is a crazy adventure though?- And so much work! So glad you liked the post X

  2. Tongue in cheek and totally on the money. I am so glad I had no clue how arduous the publishing road or I would not have met my wonderful writing family.

    1. Hi Judy, thank you so much for your comment- and you are so right! It is an arduous journey (that I am still on) but the writing families are just great! Happy writing! x

  3. Honest and Hilarious as always. Thank you for the smile as I wait nervously at the airport. I hate to fly alone.

    1. Thank you so much Jelaine! And safe flying xxx

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