It certainly feels that way at times. When I’m writing memoir, I’m my own main character, my life is the plot, my predilections become the theme, the story is from my perspective and all the characters’ voices are in some ways filtered through my own.
But on the other hand, memoir writing can be like a crucible. When you are writing memoir and really digging into it, it can be excruciating. Your embarrassing moments are laid bare. And so are your faults. You have to look at yourself in a real way, and it can be scary and really hard to do.
In fact, I know that’s held me back on my latest memoir project. I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to tell a particular story, tentatively titled A Case of You, but it has been hard to get started and keep going on the story because I know there are parts of myself that I’ll have to face that I’d rather not acknowledge at all. So many times I’ll start working on bits and pieces of the project, only to stop a few days later and leave it alone for months. Sometimes the thought of facing those darker parts of yourself can feel scarier than almost anything you could encounter in your external life. But memoir writing doesn’t let you get away with running away from it.