Be Brave! Be Daring!

I am often asked about how to deal with telling family secrets. What should a writer do when a memoir reveals more information than some relatives might feel comfortable sharing?

If you are just beginning to write your story, put that thought on the back burner. Right now, just concentrate on writing the best memoir possible. Learn the craft. Develop your setting. Re-create the characters from your life on paper. Tell a great story.

When the time comes to put your story out into the world, you may have a different attitude. Will your sixty-year-old sister really care that you have made her look like a spoiled brat when she was thirteen? Decades later, are we even the same people we were back then?

You must be brave! Daring! Write your story. Put it all down on the page. You might be surprised at your family’s reaction. You might even be pleased with it. But if not, it is your story to tell. Not theirs. They are free to write their own memoir. In fact, you might just tell them that.

Happy writing!


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