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Memoirists, help! Inviting tips on preparing to be naked
Written by
Susan Fornoff
November 2013
Written by
Susan Fornoff
November 2013

I don't know why I didn't think about this much when my first memoir came out 20 years ago. Maybe because it was mostly about my professional experience as a woman sportswriter blazing trails. (It's called "Lady in the Locker Room" and it was inspired mainly by my years covering the Oakland A's for the Sacramento Bee.) But one of Nancy Miller's posts got me thinking...

Now I am weeks away from the release of my new 20-year memoir, Confessions of a Golf Slut (A Memoir of Life, Love, and The Game), which is about the rewards and consequences of saying yes to golf anywhere, anytime, with anyone. The lens is golf -- however, threads include love, loss, heartbreak, death, substance abuse, career change, and friendship. Although I altered some segments to protect privacy, and although (contrary to what some may think when they see the title) there is no sex in the book, it is extremely personal. 

I notice I have been biting several of my nails. 

I'm a professional writer. I think the book is pretty good -- one that I would enjoy reading myself. During the editing and proofing process, it made a big impact on some readers, including one who put it down because he did not expect it to be a book that would stir emotions that were uncomfortable for him. It has some nice blurbs on the back cover. It has been carefully edited and proofed.

So I'd like to be feeling more excited and less nervous! I'm no stranger to criticism and negative feedback, having worked in newspapers for 30 years. I don't think I'm afraid that some people won't like the book. Maybe it is just that with fiction, when the reader second-guesses or criticizes something the protagonist does, they can't send her an email or log in to a chat and berate her.

Come to think of it, the fictional protagonist faces no consequences for her part in a story. Is it too late for me to convert my memoir into a novel?

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