Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Supporting Memoir

Sometimes it really pays to escape from your captor. Sometimes it makes sense after the fact to deliberately shut it down. Take a breather. Resist the inner writer, though countless how-to's say that is precisely when to stay with it, run at it, not away from it.

I don't find myself resisting the stuff tough to write, not fearful of exposure, not afraid about who might ever read it. No. I fear whining, lack of clarity, uninteresting dullness. I know mine is a compelling story.I know it tells itself. I know I have permission from my deepest self to use my voice.

This is what else I know: I need a hiatus in order to return to my work with fresh eyes. Oh, I know most memoirists know this. But I still respond to those admonitions from the authoritative writer's admonitions to not leave it.

Memoir is tricky. I return to see I forgot a key thing about my brother or my mother or the neighbor's sick son or whatever, that speaks to the story. I look at some of what I wrote and wonder who wrote that! I wonder if this material will be as much fun for a stranger to read as it is for the writer.

I wonder if it's really necessary to do the ironing....

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