Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May 22, 2012 - The More I Write . . .

The more I write or do other things such as tweak this site, the more I think about writing.  I’m not talking about the act of translating thoughts into words but the other aspects of this project.

“Lordy, what have I gotten myself into?” she asks.

That’s just the first question that comes into my mind, not with panic or desperation but bemusement.

I have questions that will need to be answered; however, it is early days yet and not time for serious research.

You’ll notice a couple of new pages here, including “I’m Published!  Sort Of . . .”.  I had completely forgotten until last evening that I had been a guest blogger on RVParking.com a while back.

Thinking about writing . . . I have written my own press releases related to my Reiki practice and fundraising for the Lance Armstrong Foundation in the past.  Years ago, I wrote an article for the Houston Bicycle Club newsletter describing The Melon Patch Tour, a charity bike ride in Texas.   I don’t think I have a copy of that newsletter any longer and, heck, it looks like the ride is now defunct.  It was, however, an absolute hoot of a tour and a weekend I will always remember.

I will even admit that I “prostituted” myself a few months ago, doing copywriting for video ads.  Yep, got paid for it.  It was fun, creative, good experience and brought in a few bucks.

“Questions?  What are her questions?” I hear some of you whispering.  Just so I am not labeled a tease, here is my first priority, one which I would like to be comfortable with having an answer before I go too deep into the actual writing.

When writing nonfiction, a memoir, a collection of experiences in which the people, places and events are real, how does a writer naming said people, places and events, prioritized in that order.  Is there a disclaimer to be put at the beginning something like, “These are my personal opinions, views and recollections of people, places and events.”  I’m talking from a legal standpoint.  Do I dance around actually labeling people with names – “he,” “the person,” – or do I make up fictitious names?  Do I get permission from all these entities to use their names?

I won’t be slandering anyone with regard to illegal activities, immoral acts, etc., but recounting experiences from my perspective – both the positive and sometimes what was hurtful to me.

Well, you just had to ask . . .

Thanks for stopping by!  Now go write!

6 comments:

  1. SAMPLE: “This memoir is based on my experiences over a 10-year period. Names have been changed, characters combined and events compressed. Certain episodes are imaginative recreation, and those episodes are not intended to portray actual events.”

    Try: http://www.writingmemoir.com/learning001.aspx

    Definitely read: http://www.wordclay.com/genre/memoirlibel.aspx

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  2. I love writing, too. I started with a blog on Jan 2, 2010. Since then I've blogged every day, written a book about the 1986-87 Iowa Hawkeyes Men's basketball team and written 4 Henry Wood Detective novels. (3 are still being edited)

    Before Jan 2, I didn't like writing at all. I dreaded the thought of banging out reports at work and never did it for fun. Then I gave it a try and got hooked.

    Good post. Now, I need to get back to writing. :-)

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    1. Wow! You've been busy! Thanks for visiting!

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  3. Betty, I'm writing memoir right now, and my advice is where you can, change people's names. I use the same first and last initial to remember who I'm referring to, e.g. Alice Brown might become Allison Burch. When you're writing about family, where it would be odd to change their names, I'd not only get permission to use their names, I'd show them the stories before they were published if there was anything in them that could be perceived as sensitive.

    Those are my thoughts on the matter. Good luck!

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    1. Laura, thanks for your thoughts. Definitely some things to consider.

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