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Free craft advice for memoirist Britney Spears (and her ghostwriter).

Eliza Smith

April 5, 2022, 2:09pm

In an Instagram post yesterday, Britney Spears spared a few words about her memoir-in-progress (snapped up by Simon & Schuster in February for somewhere in the region of $15 million). The post has since been deleted (intrigue!), but fortunately the internet moves faster than the delete button. Here’s an excerpt from the Hollywood Reporter:

“Well, I’m writing a book at the moment and as it’s actually healing and therapeutic… it’s also hard bringing up past events in my life… I’ve never been able to express openly… I can only imagine that I do sound childish but I was extremely young with those events took place … and addressing it now … I’m sure it seems irrelevant to most and I’m completely aware of that !!!” 

In a mere 70 words, Britney managed to tap into several conversations around memoir, namely:

Should writing memoir be therapeutic?? Second only to the “BUT WHAT DID YOUR FAMILY THINK?” question, this is a favorite debate of the genre. Try Elissa WashutaT Kira Madden, and Rebecca Carroll on this one.

Help: writing my memoir is bringing up past trauma. A very relevant concern! The late Louise de Salvo has your back here, and as Sonya Huber writes, you don’t always have to “show.” (Plus, the case for leaving shit out.)

How does one write about youth without sounding like, well, a youth? Suggested reading: Girlhood, Pop Song, How We Fight for Our Lives.

Is my project irrelevant to most? Probably! Embrace the creative nihilism (and look for the universal, I guess).

A now, a gift for the rest of us: Britney went on to talk about her mother’s and sister’s respective memoirs: they “also did the ‘intellectual approach’ in indulgence by writing their own books.” Henceforth, I’ll be referring to my memoir-writing as The Intellectual Approach in Indulgence. Thank you, Britney—you (oops) did it again.

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