By Lindsay Gibb
I love perzines. I have a fondness for blogs. I tend to frequent the biography section of bookstores. I even, quite guiltily, enjoy watching the odd TLC program about people and their inability to pick out clothes that flatter them. So why is it that I feel completely inadequate when I think about writing my memoir?
My editorials tend to be about me, in some capacity, but when I think about trying to write a memoir the idea horrifies me. I’m told about a 25-year-old who wrote his memoir upon graduating from college and my automatic reaction is: what a wanker. Sure, he could be a great writer, he may have lived through many fascinating experiences, but I still think the general rule should be: before you commit your life to paper, live a little.
Perzines get past this rule by publishing little day-in-the-life snippets, letting the reader in but not making grand assumptions about the audience’s interest in their lives. Blogs are a little more presumptuous, but the benefit of there being so many of them is, if one insinuates itself too much you can move on to someone more humble.
The idea of a memoir also feels outdated because there are so many other ways for us to give the world a peek into our lives. For example, graphic novelists and comic writers fictionalize their own lives to create material (as David Silverberg writes in his feature on page 11). Most songs are based in the life experiences of the lyricist. While this writing trend has admittedly created many clichés, it has also resulted in music that is relevant to the listener (and in many a concept album, as per Sam Sutherland’s article on page 57). BP’s publisher Hal Niedzviecki is experimenting in exposing his life to a mass audience through his new blog entitled “The Peep Diaries.” He’s using this site as his own public diary and a place to comment on people whose private lives are under media scrutiny, all as research for his next book about what he calls “peep culture”: the voyeuristic trend of both watching people’s private lives while exposing our own through websites, books and television.
So, since I can barely bring myself to comment on my personal life in a status update on Facebook– more because I fear no one’s interested than out of a desire for privacy–I don’t see memoir-esque mediums becoming the next big thing in my life. This page every three months will do me for now.