The Musings of an Elective Orphan

Sarah Brandis

Are Memoir Writers Self-Obsessed?

Self-Obsessed?  Moi?

Self-Obsessed? Moi?

As a memoir writer I have been called self-obsessed by some people.  Reassuringly for me, but sadly for them, some of my favorite authors have been called the same too.  I must admit my first reaction to this comment was to feel a little offended.  Oh OK, I was pretty hurt in all honesty.  But then I became interested in why people would say such a mean thing about me, or about writing-idols of mine such as Emma Forrest and Dave Pelzer.  This gave me a lot to think about, as well as distracting me from my bruised ego.

So I began to wonder; “Are us memoirists too into ourselves and our stories?  Or are memoir haters opposed to us devoting entire books to our personal issues due to their own issues with openness?”  I think that these are fair questions.  There are undoubtedly a great many people in the world who are either unwilling or incapable of opening up and analyzing their own problems, so perhaps they feel it is inappropriate that we memoirists do what we do.

Not everyone's cup of tea, but two of my favorites.

Not everyone’s cup of tea, but two of my favorites.

If this is the case, then I wish they wouldn’t read books that make them angry, but instead would focus on getting themselves some help.  If they are already unhappy and repressed, then ranting about ‘self-obsessed memoirists’ serves only to wind themselves up further.  Breathe.  Let it go.

Or on the other hand, if I am self-obsessed then please carry on calling me so.  Anyway, I can’t hear you up here in my ivory tower *fingers in ears* “la la la”…

Details of my memoir meets psychology book can be found here.


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This entry was posted on June 17, 2013 by and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .
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