Singer/actress Miley Cyrus, still wet behind the ears at a mere 16 years old, is getting flack for writing a memoir. How can a kid have a life story? According to Merriam-Webster dictionary (online version) the definition of memoir is
1 a : a story of a personal experience b : autobiography – usually used in plural c : biography
Merriam-Webster people, don’t you know that a memoir is not at all the same as an autobiography or biography? The latter two are lifetime encompassing works of information about somebody’s life. A memoir is a personal reflection of only a portion of one’s life, hence Miley is quite qualified to have one. I’m sure plenty of youngsters will be delighted to read how Miley had similar experiences as they did growing up while at the same time superblasting into the teen stratosphere. Bullying, breakups, family relationships are the stuff of everybody’s lives, and plenty of writers have used those common experiences as the subject of their memoirs. So give the child a break! She’s living a life most of us older folks can’t even imagine. Miley fans will want to know how she handled her problems, what she learned, what advice she is going to give them, as well as get the skinny on what it’s like to be so young and famous. Let’s face it, Miley is a money-making machine that Disney is cranking the most out of. That’s just good business, whether you like it or not.
Did you know that many, if not most, of our kids today are writing life stories? Yes, they are – in school. Communication Arts teachers get the kids writing in daily journals at an early age. They also ask the kids to write stories about their life experiences – a trip to the zoo, getting hit with a baseball, a special birthday party. Sometimes the teachers even produce simply bound books out of their students’ stories. The kids won’t have a professional ghostwriter like Miley, they won’t have amazing tales of fame, but they do have something to say. And I think we should listen, encourage, and enjoy.
According to a 2008 MSNBC article, Miley’s memoir will actually have a lot about her mom in it. Miley says, “I hope to motivate mothers and daughters to build lifetimes of memories together and inspire kids around the world to live their dreams.” Now that’s a grown-up thought.
PS: Miles to Go has gotten good reviews on Amazon