Memoir: How to Minimize Risk - Creative Law Center

Memoir: How to Minimize Risk

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How to Minimize Risk When Writing Memoir [Workshop Replay]

Memoir – the decision to write one is hard. The decision to publish it can be harder.

It’s a common problem in memoir, writers upsetting their lovers, friends, family, and even business partners by retelling a story in a way that not everyone remembers.

Or by sharing things publicly that some prefer to keep private.

Some stories are ugly but true. Some are embarrassing, or even criminal.

It becomes particularly difficult when you feel a powerful compulsion to tell your story, not for yourself, but for others who may be experiencing the same things you have gone through.

Perhaps you want to let them know that they are not alone. Perhaps you want to start a discussion about topics that are difficult to discuss. Perhaps you want to start a movement for systemic change.

Accomplishing those things can involve a delicate walk through the minefields of defamation, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

In the workshop “How to Minimize Risk when Writing Memoir,” we talk about how to navigate those treacherous areas of law so you can tell your truth and still protect yourself.

We talk about strategic options like whether sharing your manuscript with certain individuals before publication is a good idea or a bad one.

We discuss whether disclaimers are effective and how they should be crafted.

The decision of whether to fictionalize your work rather than styling it as a memoir is considered.

Two memoirists who have taken vastly different approaches to their stories of childhood sexual abuse talk about how they approached these issues. One names names. One changes them. Hear them talk about the decisions they made when writing their stories.

Their approaches are different, but they write with a common goal. They believe that if they can help just one person, then the journey of writing, publishing, and promoting their memoir will have been worth it.

Listen to them share their journeys of how they navigated the legal risks and moral dilemmas of writing their stories.

If you write memoir, or plan to, learn how to protect yourself in this replay of a live Creative Law Center workshop.

You’ll get an email with the link for for the workshop replay and resources once you sign up. You will have lifetime access to the replay.

About the Author

Kathryn Goldman helps small business people, writers, artists, and creative professionals make a living from their creative work by teaching them how to protect and enforce their rights. She is an attorney who writes these posts to help you be more thoughtful about intellectual property and the law as you build your business, write your stories, and create your art.