I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what makes memoiristic nonfiction (whether in poetry or prose) relevant to anyone beyond the writer. (Let’s just say that last week I was reading a very me, me, me essay–a published one–and subsequently was consumed with the wish to figure out how to avoid afflicting readers with similar unpleasantness in my own work.)
Then I recalled Lisa Romeo’s sage advice: “I constantly try to remind myself that people don’t read creative nonfiction because they care about what happened to me, but because they care about whether what happened to me might have some meaning for them.” I was marveling over that wisdom once again when I discovered Philip Graham’s new post offering some equally memorable commentary.
Take a moment to reread Lisa’s post, and to read Philip’s. Judging by the material I was reading last week, these craft points simply cannot be overemphasized.