You are never too young to write your life story.
By Linda S. Heard, Special to Gulf News,Thinker Mahmood SaberiSpecial to Gulf News
'Why don't you write your memoirs?" said my wife, and I looked at her worriedly wondering whether the doctor had a chat with her about my health.
The reason for my disquiet was because people usually write their memoir when they are just about to pop it, go over to the other side, or, to their eternal rest, so to speak.
"I am not a celebrity. My life consists of shopping for weekly groceries, watching reruns of old movies on the free TV channels and visiting the osteopath," I said.
It seems like a coincidence talking about writing one's life story, because just the other day I saw this cartoon about a guy sitting on a cloud and tapping away on the keyboard. An elderly being with wings walks by and asks what is he doing. "I am writing a sequel to my memoirs," says the first guy.
My wife held up a glossy magazine and said, "Look, even Zayn Malik has written his memoir."
"Zayn, who?" I asked.
"Looks like you are behind the times," said my wife. "He was with the boy-band One Direction, and has now broken up and gone solo."
For those of you who do not know who Zayn is (which planet are you living on, btw?) here's a brief background: he is Zain Javad 'Zayn' Malik, an English singer and songwriter. He also auditioned as a solo artist for The X Factor, the reality TV music competition. I was amazed at my wife's knowledge about teen musicians. The only time she had come to a music concert with me was when we had got free tickets to a Punkaj Udhas concert. When I looked around after sitting down I saw the audience seemed very fragile. There was a lot of hacking and coughing and people suddenly running for the exit, presumably to go urgently to the washroom.
My wife was right, 23-year-old Zayn Malik wrote his memoirs and a publisher had given him a huge advance.
"Isn't he a bit young to have any worthwhile experiences to write about," I told my wife with a tinge of jealousy.
This is not to 'diss' the singer because millions of his angry teenage fans may flood my Twitter timeline, but I found out that his memoirs would simply be called ZAYN and to keep up with the times where reading is only done on the mobile, the book will be made up of photographic memoirs, with drawings, song lyrics, and personal stories.
The book, which came out on November 1, is an intimate and raw scrapbook and covers his growing-up years, the time he travelled around the world with One Direction and how he broke away from the band. Looks like you do not need to be uh, mature and have years and years of experience to write your memoirs. There are already a ton of other people in their early 20s writing about their interesting lives.
Here is a list of under-30s who have written their life stories:
* Justin Bieber, First Step 2 Forever: My Story, published when he was 16
* Miley Cyrus, Miles to Go, published when she was 16
* Britney Spears, Heart to Heart, age 18
* Paris Hilton, Confessions of an Heiress, age 23
* Drew Barrymore (Charlie's Angles, ET-The Extra-Terrestrial), Little Girl lost, age 15
* Gabby Douglas (Olympic Gymnast), Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith', published when aged 17.
So, why can't the young write their memoirs (which comes from the French word, memoire)? Should there be a certain age before you get down to writing your life experiences?
Apparently not, judging from the packed lives these young folk lead, they have a lot to say.
And if you have those memoirs just waiting to be written, don't wait too long. Sometimes memories just fade away.
Mahmood Saberi is a freelance journalist based in Dubai. You can follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ mahmood_saberi.
Abdul Kareem - Linda S. Heard - Ian Buruma - Mustapha Karkouti
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