In my 20s and 30, I had the retail beat at Business Week, and would occasionally write about Bergdorf's and its parent company, Neiman Marcus. But I never shopped there for anything more substantial than lipstick or pantyhose; during the years I wrote about department stores, I never walked into one with the goal of shopping for shopping's sake.
One expects Shock -- with a capital 'S' -- when reading a book called The Mommie Dearest Diary -- Carol Ann Tells All. And actress Rutanya Alda's book, all about the nightmare of playing Joan Crawford's faithful maid opposite Faye Dunaway in the notorious 1981 camp classic, does not disappoint. All the rumors about Ms. Dunaway's grandstanding diva behavior are true, if Ms. Alda is to be believed.
Whether it's something that you simply want to leave for your children or grandchildren to read, or whether you went through something life changing or traumatic and feel that writing a memoir will help you exorcise some demons -- as a cathartic exercise -- then it's time to stop thinking about it and actually doing it.