Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Discoveries in Memoir

In slashing my way through a cumbersome memoir, full of too many people, I'm needing to sort through the cast of thousands to discover who the principals are who shaped my life. Thinking the answer is: all of them, the fact is that some of them invested enough of themselves in me to outrank most of the others. Some of them caused me significant damage and earned their place on the stage. Some of them stood in the wings and cheered me on to become more than I could have expected or imagined, and some of them stepped up to rescue me from some of the others.

A solid group of them enabled me to recognize the winners who populate my ongoing life now so that I recognize readily treasures to whom I listen and from whom I learn. These friends and mentors hold me accountable, trust in and encourage me to walk a path to stronger faith and challenge me to grow in their valuable company.

It is through them and often because of them that I brave these unknown waters and write my memoir. I know that the life I have led is a bit different than those they live, that the things I have dealt with were never part of their history. I know, too that they are not just my cheerleaders, but people truly interested in helping me tell my story, a tale not without risk in the telling.

A whole new cadre of supporters were unexpected and a fine surprise. These are the folks, mostly women, with whom I write. We share our writing interests with a strong eye to honing, offering good suggestions, helpful thinkng and gentle observation. I look forward weekly to their hawkeye abilities to help me improve my writing. But it is their generosity that is so amazing. Far from competing, trying to be the best, these writers greet each offering to the class as if the work is their own, as if it matters to them that all writers write well and consistently. That allows each of us to risk, to grow, to attempt beyond what we thought were our limits.

We are blessed with an exemplary instructor whose uncanny ability to get right to the nub of the difficulty, the starshine, the tangles, and the power of good writing delivered, shows us in the end how to make it better, how to polish to perfection, to show us how to get there. In this most recent round of essay writing we have become writing friends, sharing experience, sharing skills, sharing ourselves in the effort. Such a result pulls me to my computer to contribute my very best, however busy, so as not to just toss off something not worth their time. Every week. Under the firm hand of a good writer who believes in developing more good writers, I have learned so much from Sheila Bender, of Writing It Real.

Thank you, followers, for supporting me in this blogging, something entirely new to me. You are major contributors to my encouragement. Some ofyou are beyond busy and still give me time and attention. Some of you continue to take an interest in me and show me the way to be all I can be. You are the reason I write and why I'll achieve the success I seek.

1 comment:

  1. I'd think of it less like surgery and more like gardening--shaping via pruning, rather than excising. Use a gentle hand like a surgeon must but think of the whole rather than just of a part.