Do I Own My Story? But What If It’s Also Your Story, and You Don’t Want Me To Tell It?

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

zz hertzel Laurie Hertzel

By Laurie Hertzel

Like any good student, I sat in the front row, took diligent notes, and believed, for a while, everything my teachers said. As a young newspaper reporter, I had ambitions beyond daily journalism, so for years I attended as many workshops and seminars as possible, studying narrative writing, fiction, and, eventually, memoir.

“I own my story,” I obediently jotted during a memoir lecture—or words to that effect. “No one has the right to tell me what I can or can’t write.”

But when I began working on my first memoir, I realized that it’s not that simple. Yes, I own my story—that is, I have the right to tell the stories of my life.  But I don’t live in a vacuum, and in order to tell my stories I cannot help but tell the stories of others. Do I have that right? Do I have the…

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Author: Grandtrines

Like so many people, I am a paradox. I am a politically conservative vegetarian. I am from a Christian background, and still tend to like those values, but am a metaphysical astrologer trained in science who has an interest in the magic of ancient Egypt and a weird belief that some piece of our essence can live on a server. I live in Texas, but like chatting with my international Wordpress pals the best. I learn by teaching. Technically, I am a "Leo," but I am very, very Aquarian with a dose of Scorpio. I bitterly complain about Algol (and Algol personaliites), yet it is the one star that defines me most (other than Regulus). (Which, oddly, makes me an Algol personality.) I am a reclusive lover of peace and quiet who has the Ascendant in the Via Combusta (the most conflict ridden part of the zodiac). I am an incredibly private person with a blog with over 800 followers and 50 to 150 regular daily visitors. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

6 thoughts on “Do I Own My Story? But What If It’s Also Your Story, and You Don’t Want Me To Tell It?”

    1. Fiction has the potential to endure far longer than non-fiction. That is the appeal for me. But, in reality, non-fiction pays more unless you are a superstar like King or Patterson.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Writing fiction is like hoping your new rock and roll song will be a Top 40 hit. Writing non-fiction, if you pick the “right” market, is much more likely to sell. But, if you wrote your book for “Version 4.0” of the software, your sales will drop to zero once “Version 5.0” comes out and it will likely never sell again. And, non-fiction means you might be hired to write manuals and documentation for an organization (as a “Technical Writer” or “Technical Communicator”). That is either a salary or fairly decent contract pay but *NO* residuals. A number of schools have degree programs in this area; one near me is this one (as an example): Of course, once you write in one area, you can “re-tool” and learn to write in the other.

        Liked by 1 person

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