Is It a Memoir or Novel?

Do you ever get anxious about deciding when a manuscript should be written as a memoir or a novel? If so, how have you made the decision and move forward? Do you jump right in, start writing and let the process decide for you? How do you know what’s right?

Writing nonfiction feels so much more natural to me that writing fiction. Should that be my answer? Maybe, sometimes. Sometimes, it’s pretty clear an essay is the perfect way to convey a thought or feeling. But how do I know? Maybe I should be writing a short story.

But the question is really how do you know when to take your true life and turn it into fiction and call it fiction? I believe that if you’re writing memoir, it has to be more than only emotionally true.

This is the focus of today’s anxiety. Memoir or novel? Essay or short story? Can you relate?