The Inherent Dangers of Memoir Writing
“There was a time when you had to earn the right to draft a memoir,
by accomplishing something noteworthy or having an extremely unusual experience
… But then came our current age of oversharing, and all heck broke loose.”
~ Neal Genzlinger, The New York Times Book Review
I don’t mean to overshare here, but I wrote a memoir once, and all heck did not break loose.
 DISCLAIMER: Some people have had changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal thoughts or actions while using MEMOIR to help them examine their lives. Some people had these symptoms when they began writing MEMOIR, and others developed them after several weeks of free-writing and active verb replacement. If you, your family, or workshop leader notice agitation, hostility, depression, or changes in behavior, thinking, or mood that are not typical for you, or you develop suicidal thoughts or actions, anxiety, panic, aggression, genital warts, or genre confusion, or if you begin to obsess day and night over the best ways to gain the attention of a well-placed literary agent, stop writing MEMOIR and call your doctor right away. Also tell your doctor about any history of SHORT FICTION or POETICS. Do not write MEMOIR if you have had serious allergic or skin reactions after bathing in bourbon. The most common side effects of MEMOIR include nausea, sleep problems, constipation, gas and swelling of the navel. If you have side effects that bother you or don’t go away, tell your doctor promptly. He won’t, however, care one bit. He is working on his memoir. You may have vivid, unusual or strange dreams while writing MEMOIR. Write them down. Do not operate a tractor or other heavy equipment while writing MEMOIR, unless you are writing a memoir set on your family farm. MEMOIR should not be combined with other forms of writing, such as poetry, skin art, or ransom notes. You may need a lower dose of MEMOIR if you have relatives with far better memory skills than you possess. Before starting MEMOIR, tell your workshop leader if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are taking the summer workshop in the hopes of having an extramarital affair. If you find yourself in an unsavory, brief sexual relationship as a result of taking MEMOIR, capture the minute details in scenic form.
Dinty W. Moore worked briefly as a police reporter, a documentary filmmaker, a modern dancer, a zookeeper, and a Greenwich Village waiter, before deciding he was lousy at all of those jobs and really wanted to write memoir. He is a professor of nonfiction writing at Ohio University.