Disclaimer: I'm not a legal professional. This is not legal advice.
I'm up to the final technical aspects before I self-publish my memoir, about some behind-the-scenes drama in the online world. The focus is an intense connection with an autistic man, during the advocacy journey. I've been looking up about including a disclaimer, which is a statement about the limitations and alterations in the writing. It generally goes after the copyright information, on the copyright page, so all the legal stuff is in one place.
why have a disclaimer?
It's not mandatory to have one, although recommended for any writing, including a blog. I have a little disclaimer on this blog, for example. A disclaimer is a short statement which can be a few sentences to a few paragraphs.
The reasons for having one, in the case of memoir, is:
I've written a draft disclaimer for my memoir below:
draft disclaimer for my memoir
This book is intended for a mature audience for entertainment purposes. Some content may be triggering for some readers. This account is the author’s emotional truth and perspective from her personal experiences. Names have been changed and possible identifying details such as nationality have been omitted. Dialogue has been paraphrased to disguise any distinctive speech patterns. The author is not a clinician and this story is no substitute for medical advice.
I am expecting to self-publish Bipolar Courage: Are You Sure You're Not Autistic? within four weeks (which reminds me, I'd better apply for my ISBNs soon; free in New Zealand).
WHat If YOu don't really remember?
I spent a LOT of time, researching and cross-checking with my memoir, to make it as accurate as I can, to my memories, plus how I felt at the time (I've even included some relevant extracts from my journal, my raw feelings, recorded at the time of events). Compared to how I felt processing things, later). It's my most emotionally vulnerable book to date.
If you are hazy about details, or you feel you need to disguise people further, then I suggest you try the semiautobiographical fiction genre, instead. My book, Pet Purpose: Your Unspoken Voice is inspired by my experiences and some of it is memoir. I've used fiction in the form of composite characters, for disguise and efficiency. It's to help the reader understand what bipolar mania with post-traumatic stress disorder is like. With very little emphasis on the trauma, and instead on how the character is trying to resolve grief and trauma in creative ways.
Fiction can be more honest in some respects. Lie to tell the truth. Whereas with the memoir, I was just vague about some things, and filtered some things out, for privacy reasons.
Disclaimer: the author of this blog is not an expert by profession and her opinions should not be taken as expert advice.