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  • Writer's pictureNora Walsh Kerr

Whose Story Is It?

"You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should've behaved better." -Anne Lamott Whenever you set about documenting a life story, it's never just a single person's story. Memories will include parents, siblings, children, friends, and others who intersected in a life, so any given memoir becomes a collection of stories about this mess of people. Some of my clients have no trouble sharing details about the supporting characters in their lives, including the good, the bad, the ugly. Others pause, self-edit, or rethink their wording, which can be tricky to manage as a writer, but also completely natural. It all begs the question, whose story is it to tell? I admire Anne Lamott as a person of integrity and wit and share her outlook on memoir writing when it comes to other people. Your story is yours to tell. When setting about documenting a memoir, it should be assumed that any stories told within are not historical fact, but your perception of how life unfolded and how the people in your life behaved and impacted you. A sibling or a spouse may remember things totally differently, but that's their story to tell. Do you have advice on sharing stories about other people? I would love to hear about it. Until then, here's to telling our truth the way WE see it. Sources: Anne Lamott - Bird by Bird Marion Roche - How to Write Someone Else's Story


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