Tuesday, November 16th, 2010
8

Hurry Up And Start Hooking If You Want To Sell That Memoir

More advice on getting published: "Well, have you smoked crack? Been a prostitute? Homeless? Had any kind of addictions to overcome? Disease? That’s what makes a memoir work. That’s what people want to read." [Via]

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I spent part of last night walking around The Strand and being repulsed by the memoir trend, although I think a not-insignificant slice of said grossed-out feeling was me being angry at myself for not wanting to put my life experiences on the table in that way.

Clip Arthur (#2,024)

You only recently got repulsed by the memoir trend? It’s been happening for at least the past 10 years. And the early signs were those “magical addict” memoirs. You know stuff that could almost have been inspired by Bukowski but aren’t even that good.

And what really makes me sad is a lot of the folks who have scored memoir deals are actually decent writers. But the fact they have jump-started their careers by vomiting life on a page has sold themselves short.

It’s basically a sideshow now. And I’d like to interview one of those old people who go to free readings all over NYC what they think of this stuff. Hey! That’s an idea! One I won’t actually do but would appreciate if someone did!

"Yes of course. I'm a writer."

I like Scouting NY a lot, but I don't think I'd buy a book. Click on a ton of ads for him? Sure. Watch a movie made by him? Definitely. Probably not a book, though. The web is perfect for what it is, as it currently is.

City_Dater (#2,500)

But honestly, how many disease-ridden, drug-addicted, homeless ex-whores are there who can really WRITE? Find that witty, erudite skank, slap her sober and stick a pen in her fist, and then maybe I'll start to care about memoirs (besides Mary Karr's).

KarenUhOh (#19)

I tried this, but was informed the story of my life would be straight-to-Viewmaster.

alexanderbasek (#4,534)

How writers got their agents + have you smoked crack = Bill Clegg Tuesday here at the Awl!

Smitros (#5,315)

Mrs. Smitros has noted that my prospects for publication and Oprah-level commercial success are limited by the fact that I am a straight white Christian male from the Midwest who has never been addicted, molested or incarcerated.

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