Mix Memoir Tidbits With Other Non-Fiction Genres

Maybe a flat-out memoir is not what you’re intending to write. Perhaps you’re writing a cookbook, travel guide, business manual or history of a city. You could be writing any type of non-fiction and either want to include tidbits of your own life story or find yourself doing that as a natural part of the information you’re providing.

Is that okay? Of course. In the example of the cookbook, you could combine each recipe with a tale about a time that you served that dish—who was at the table and why. A travel guide or municipal history lends itself to recounting your experiences in the locations you describe. A business book could discuss lessons you’ve learned from your own businesses, embellished with more personal details than authors of similar books share.

Personalizing an otherwise informational non-fiction book in this manner can entice the reader to keep reading. It’s a bit of a win/win in that the reader receives the information in an entertaining format, while the author has the opportunity to write a modified autobiography without any pressure or obligation of telling more than is comfortable or going outside the parameters of the topic at hand. So think about it. If you want to write a non-fiction book, your own pertinent experiences may be just the angle you need to set it apart.