Helen Sedwick, author of Coyote Winds, believes “Memoirists are the bravest of writers.” “In exploring the journeys of their lives, they [memoirists] delve into the private (and imperfect) lives of others. Can a memoirist write about surviving abuse without getting sued by her abuser? Can a soldier write about war crimes without risking a court-martial? Helen answers these questions in her guest blog post “A Memoir is not a Voodoo Doll.” We lead rich lives, most of us. Rich in experiences, in friendships, in family, and in our work. I think you can find riches to write about. So, whatchya waitin’ for? Start writing. And don’t worry about a thing. Just write.
Tag: Helen Sedwick
A Memoir is Not a Voodoo Doll
Guest Blogger, attorney Helen Sedwick, writes: Memoirists are the bravest of writers. In exploring the journeys of their lives, they delve into the private (and imperfect) lives of others. Can a memoirist write about surviving abuse without getting sued by her abuser? Can a soldier write about war crimes without risking a court-martial? Yes, but a cool head is key. Considering the thousands of memoirs published each year, there are relatively few lawsuits. Claims are difficult and expensive to prove. Most targets don’t want to call attention to a matter best forgotten. However, it’s important for memoir writers to be aware of the legal risks. You can’t avoid risk 100% of the time, but you can learn to take the ones that are important to your narrative arc and minimize those that are not. What is Safe Territory? You may write about a person in a positive or neutral light….
Is it Safe to Post Your Work on Critique Sites? Helen Sedwick
Guest post by Helen Sedwick Every writer knows the challenge of finding readers willing to critique our works-in-progress. We beg, barter, and guilt loved ones into reviewing just one more draft. But there’s an easier and faster way to get a fresh pair of eyes to look at your work; online critique sites such as Scribophile, Writer’s Café, and Critique Circle. Some of these sites operate on a credit system; you earn credits by giving critiques and spend credits by posting your work for feedback. Others use an honor system. Some, such as Inked Voices, set up cloud-based, on-going groups. In my experience, these online communities are incredibly helpful and supportive. But many writers worry about posting their work online. Will they lose their copyright? Will someone steal their work? Good questions and an opportunity to explain what to look for when giving anyone rights to use or display your…