Lance Armstrong’s recent announcement that he will give up his medals rather than formally fight the doping allegations has me wondering whether we’ll see a Lance Armstrong memoir in the future. And if we do, will it be an attempt to exonerate himself by telling his side of the story? Or will it be a “mea culpa” apology and admission of lying?
We see both types of memoirs rolling off the presses. Certainly people use a memoir to try to gain sympathy and deny rumors. There are reports that former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky is currently writing a memoir from prison, presumably to claim he was falsely convicted of child molestation. However, Olympic runner Marion Jones admits doping and apologizes profusely in her memoir, On the Right Track: From Olympic Downfall to Finding Forgiveness and the Strength to Overcome and Succeed. And in Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ’Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big, Jose Canseco finds a middle ground, detailing the use of steroids in major league baseball but offering more of an explanation than a true apology.
Most people who write an autobiography attempt to present themselves in a positive light. But some, like Jones, put all of the unflattering truth out there in a way to take accountability so they can start fresh. Perhaps your story falls into one of these categories. Whether you want to “get it off your chest” and accept blame for your worst actions, or you intend to defiantly deny accusations of wrongdoing, a memoir is a good place to start. Then people hear it “from the horse’s mouth.”