Are there ethics when writing a ‘memoir’? How does someone exam their own reasons for exposing ‘all’ and how do they know their reasons are sound? What do the experts say?
I’ve read many authors and writing experts on tips for writing, in general and memoirs in particular and for the most part they all present solid reasons and tips. Many memoir writers don’t care about what the experts say, or anyone for that matter, because they are only interested in continuing on with their own HATE agendas.
Seen on Twitter…
Linda Joy Myers Ph.D @MemoirGuru 24 Dec 2016
So I clicked on the link provided and got an error message.
But the post can be seen on these following links
Here now is the article, followed by a few thoughts of my own and links to blogs, Facebook page, discussions on Amazon, about Joan/Doris’s book.
Secrets and Tips: Write a Powerful Memoir
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 18:03 Written by Linda Joy Myers 0 Comments
The release of The Power of Memoir–How to Write Your Healing Story has given me the opportunity to answer questions about memoir writing, from truth to secrets, from families who support the writer to families who threaten to sue if the memoirist tells “the truth.” I’m posting some of the questions every few days to help memoir writers caught in the dilemma between truth, memoir, family, and fiction.
Many writers are torn between the desire to tell the truth and the internal/external pressure to keep family secrets. What do you recommend they do?
It’s important first for the writer to get her story on the page, to write her own truth. Each person has a point of view and his own story that no one else can tell, so he needs to claim it and discover its wisdom by writing about it. This process creates a new perspective that brings forth layers of memories and insights. Exposing these layers is part of the healing process.
And there’s the hot topic in all my workshops: secrets. Secrets are energy magnets. The force it takes to keep secrets hidden is energy that could be used for growth and creativity. So often though, the shame and guilt associated with secrets keep feeding the darkness and the fear. Secrets maintain a great power over us, and we are diminished by them. We become co-conspirators to family dynamics that we don’t agree with and want to break away from. So we get caught in a conflict—to speak or not to speak? Do we remain closed and complicit, or open up and take the risk of losing friends and family, of being ousted from the family, or shamed once again into submission? These are choices that we need to make consciously and with care.
I tell my students to be open to writing two versions of the story: first, write for yourself, to clear out your emotional closet and sort the events that are jumbled up in your mind. Research has shown that writing the unadorned truth is powerful and creates changes in the brain—in other words: it’s healing.
When you put real people in your book, especially if they are identifiable, they should be notified. Even if all the portraits are positive, we’re exposing a real person to the eyes of the world. The convention is to have people read the sections they appear in, if you are on speaking terms. If not, change the names and identifying characteristics, even if that means changing names for the character, the streets, town and anything that exposes them. If published, the legal branch of the publishing company can vet the manuscript as well, but since so many memoirs are self-published, I think it’s important for people to keep these ethics in mind.
Putting the publishing concerns aside for a moment, I think the writer first needs to listen to the voice within, the true author of the story–yourself. Write what you have to say as if no one will read it–you can review it later. You will be different from the writer who began the story. Writing the story will transform you, heal you, and give you a feeling of empowerment.
Be brave–write your story!
Joan/Doris NEVER informed the majority of people whom she writes about. From the beginning she used the FAMILY name and offers many identifying information about everyone. I, my husband and children, were never informed. Nor were others in the families, both birth and adopted.
She indicates that our father saw a draft. Well that particular incident has been rewritten several times, by Joan, after the TRUTH of that episode was brought out, via my own and my sister Ruth’s blogs. Joan rewriting things to cover up a truth is NOT a memoir nor is it ETHICAL nor healing! What it is, is, the proof that she can NOT allow others to tell a different version than her own! That brings in the question of ethics; just why does she write a memoir and rewrite it over and over again? Answer…because she is mentally ill and narcissistic.
Joan/Doris surrounds herself and finds various types of people that will AGREE with her NEED to heal by writing her story, even when it’s been proven to be false. Two of her ‘friends’ wrote positive reviews on Joan’s THIRD edition, AFTER negative reviews were written. They said that updating is a form of healing! What utter bullshit!
Personally I feel that if someone ‘needs’ to write their story to HEAL then they ought NOT TO PUBLISH it! One’s healing is another’s pain! Generally speaking one should journal their feelings in a private fashion BEFORE publishing anything. Then, that raw emotional stuff NEEDS to be filtered with compassion and love BEFORE ever publishing. If the writer is UNABLE to use compassion and love, for the HURT that would/will be inflicted upon those that they DID NOT INFORM beforehand…the writer is guilty of inflicted great harm via unethical methods!
The use of saying its ‘personal healing’ to demean and hurt others is NOT HEALING. Joan/Doris’s use of ‘tit for tat’ is NOT about healing but about HATE.
Now let’s look again at what Linda Joy Myers says in the above…
‘When you put real people in your book, especially if they are identifiable, they should be notified. Even if all the portraits are positive, we’re exposing a real person to the eyes of the world. The convention is to have people read the sections they appear in, if you are on speaking terms. If not, change the names and identifying characteristics, even if that means changing names for the character, the streets, town and anything that exposes them. If published, the legal branch of the publishing company can vet the manuscript as well, but since so many memoirs are self-published, I think it’s important for people to keep these ethics in mind.’
Recapping… Real people were NOT notified, changing name etc was NOT done completely because of the use of the real FAMILY NAMES. The first book Joan had published, she LIED to the publisher by stating all was truth. But when they received evidence from family, they PULLED the book citing that Joan VIOLATED their contract. And so the 2nd and 3rd, editions being SELF-PUBLISHED, the family members are held hostages to Joan/Doris’s versions of OUR LIVES. She does NOT care about ethics!
This is how Joan/Doris feels about ethics, directly from her self-published editions.
For more information and links where a reader will find the TRUTH…
Here are links to my second blog and a Facebook page wherein I expose AGAIN the lies, fabrications and hate that Joan M Wheeler (Doris Michol Sippel) says about me and family. The first book ‘Forbidden Family, A Half Orphan’s Account of Her Adoption, Reunion and Social Activism‘ was published in 2009 but then was pulled from publication by the publisher in May 2011, for libelous material within the book. Then in 2015, she ‘self-published’ a ‘revised’ version calling it ‘Forbidden Family, an adoptee duped by adoption’. This woman has no shame no sense of family honor! Then in 2016 Joan changed her name back to her birth name and rewrote and republished the SAME crap in another book; a Third edition! CALLED ‘Forbidden Family: An Adopted Woman’s Struggle for Identity’! Talk about conning people!
https://gertmcqueen.wordpress.com/ this blog is titled Reclaiming the Sippel-Herr Family Honor
this blog’s title/sub title is… DUPED BY ADOPTION & AN WOMAN’S STRUGGLE FOR IDENTITY, A BOOK STUDY an in-depth analyzes of the books called Forbidden Family; My Life as an Adoptee Duped by adoption & An Adopted Woman’s Struggle for Identity by Joan M Wheeler/Doris M Sippel.
Also see this Facebook page
In addition…see the ‘discussion’ forums, on Amazon, for two of the books. The first book has one review and several comments related.
Forbidden Family: My Life as an Adoptee Duped by Adoption forum
review of first book and 4 comments