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Aubrey Best

  • Articles, Writing

    I Am Writing a Memoir… Someday

    Open book on counter

    When I was younger, before I had a phone, my parents would always ask me to bring what they called an “activity bag”. Regardless of if we were driving an hour to the lake house or to Orlando, I always packed a bag full of things to keep me occupied. I now know that this was an attempt at a peaceful and quiet drive. ( It worked really well until I got bored of the items I packed.) In case you were wondering, the staples of my bag included: my pink gameboy, coloring books and pencils, lots of snacks, and at least 2 books. As I got older, the contents of the bag became more practical, but the books (and snacks!) remained. 

    EXCUSE ME, WHERE IS THE MEMOIR SECTION?

    I say that I love to read, and I truly do, but it is definitely a conditional love. I couldn’t tell you a single detail about Harry Potter or any other extremely famous fictional book. If you have a specific question about the childhood of an obscure celebrity, however, the chances are that I can answer it – but only if they have written a memoir. I totally understand the appeal of reading fiction; I get that there’s an aspect of escaping from the real world and just enjoying a story. Fictional stories usually have lessons expressed indirectly through character dialogue and experience. I know all that, but it just isn’t for me. I promise that my dislike of fiction does not mean that I love to get cozy and read a technical text — I just really love memoirs. Two nights ago I started reading Chasten Buttigieg’s new book I Have Something to Tell You. I am only about halfway through, but I have enjoyed every minute of it. Each time I flip to a new page, it feels as though we are sitting in a coffee shop and he is recounting childhood memories to me. Somehow each question that arises is answered in the next paragraph, so my curiosity causes me to continue reading. Considering the small possibility of meeting any author I admire, the ability to hear their voice directly when I read is quite special.

    WHY CAN’T I DO THAT?

    Keeping my obsession with memoirs in mind, I have a vast—but niche—arsenal of random facts. (If you need another member on your trivia team, I’m your girl.) In other words, “Did you know that so-and-so did so-and-so when they were younger?” is a phrase I use fairly often. Whenever something monumental occurs in my life or a lesson from my youth returns, I think Wow, this would be the perfect story for my book. This book, of course, is non-existent for two reasons. Firstly, I am 18. I have no business marketing something as a collection of my life’s most important moments. I hope I will have many more milestones to discuss. Secondly, I need a larger audience than my parents. If I wrote a book at this moment, who would care? 10 people… maybe. I need to accomplish more for my stories to gain traction, and I will. I am not saying that I need to be “somebody” to write a book, but I just need to do more before I get there.

    FAME IS NOT FOR ME

    I can assure you that ice breaker questions are as much of a headache for me as anyone else, but there is one that I don’t mind: If you could be famous, for a reason of your choosing, would you? For me, the answer isn’t a simple yes or no. I would want to be an “F-list” celebrity. A life with the drama of paparazzi or being stopped on the street like an “A-list” celebrity is not my style, but I just want my work to make an impact on some others. I guess I just strive for popularity in academic spaces, or one specific field of study, to demonstrate the validity of my work. Especially so that my book would no longer be hypothetical, and people would actually read it. Coming to shelves soon! (Just kidding – I think around 2070 would be more accurate!)

    Interested in writing? Here are some writing tips by Alfred Hitchcock to inspire you.

    Want to dive into some celebrity memoirs? Here’s a list compiled by Cosmopolitan.