Where does your memoir begin? Where will it take you?
I begin with the Anne Lamott method – a sh*tty first draft. No one lays eyes on this piece of work. It will be tweaked and trimmed before I dare to read it to my memoir writing group. I am fortunate to have found this group of eight willing to listen and share each others stories with an openness and nonjudgmental sense of loyalty. We critique with compassion for each other, gently making suggestions – what to leave in, what to eliminate, what needs to be expanded.
There are times we hit a rough spot and we bring in the same piece of work week after week. Usually I take my piece home, make a few notes, and move on to the next chapter, keeping in mind that this is still not the final draft. It gives me the freedom to work through the cathartic phase of writing a painful memoir in a safe environment. This is where I learn what happened, where I gathered strength, and figure out where will I take the reader.
The original plan to hold off on writing this memoir until resolution is conceived was procrastination on my part. I didn’t want to write down the gritty details. I wanted to come out looking like the person who exists on FaceBook – the one always smiling, looking good, enjoying a wonderful life. The more I write the more I realize the truth – I am that person portrayed on FaceBook. I am in a good place. Perhaps resolution comes within the process, a slow mining of the gold within a story, growing from the experiences, and knowing there is much more good to come.
4 thoughts on “Memoir – Where Is It Going?”
It is lovely to find someone else who writes memoir. Especially since caregiving for my husband now, I feel like I have smashed into a brick wall. I’m having difficulty writing. I look forward to learning from you.
Thank you,Gwynn. I’m just learning as I go along and hope to gain tidbits worth sharing along the way. Good luck with your writing.
It sound like you’ve found a good group, Margie: interested, positive, and open to one another. I’ve realized growth when I’ve worked with such people. It also sounds like you have a plan of attack now that tells you how to go about what you want to do. I think you are that person on Facebook, indeed.
Thank you, Beulah. I appreciate your comments and support.