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Is My Life Interesting?

I remember watching a Judge Judy episode years ago when a woman was suing a ghostwriter who did not do a good job with this woman’s autobiography. The first thing Judge Judy said to her was, “You think your life has been so interesting that you think people will want to read about it?” The woman answers, “yes” with Judge Judy responding, “so tell me, what have you done that would interest me?” The woman begins to tell her story when Judge Judy stops her and says, “You’re not interesting, you’re a narcissist, but tell me about your lawsuit.” I couldn’t stop laughing. By the way, she lost the lawsuit.

So, is your story interesting? Probably not, but parts are, hence memoirs. People have told me I need to write my autobiography. While there are definitely life changing moments that could help others and make an interesting read, my life as a whole is not.

People who write autobiographies are usually celebrities, royalty and presidents and/or first ladies. A story is worth telling if it tells how you got from point A (say being left in a homeless shelter as a kid ending up in foster care) to point B (say becoming president of the U.S). Prince Harry’s Spare or Michell Obama’s The Light We Carry and Becoming are autobiographies on my list to read. I’ve read Eleanor Roosevelt’s and Mary Kay Ash’s autobiographies as both women were pioneers in their time. They are stories that take us from the beginning to (close to) the end of their lives.

One of the biggest problems with an autobiography is that the facts must be chronologically correct. I have a hard enough time remembering events of the last year, let alone fifty years ago. Another problem you may run into are the people that you will put in your story. While it is best to get their permission, it is not a requirement meaning, if they say ‘no’ and you put them in, they can sue you. While you have every right to tell your story, people who were (are) in your life may not feel the same, so tread lightly.

Between the two choices, I would have to lean towards writing a memoir instead of an autobiography. You have the freedom to tell your story without having to worry about chronological order or other people.

We all have lives and we all have life changing moments in our lives and those are the stories that we should tell.

Next Week: Outlining your memoir or autobiography

Until next time……

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