Saturday, July 26, 2014

Memoir Writing: Wrenching The Gut 1

I write in cafes. I have a few favorite locations. I have too many distractions at home, and the lighting is never as good.

But I'm writing memoir stuff, this summer. I would like to have enough for a book, and publish it, but I am also doing this to glean fuel for my fiction. If I can dig into the depths of my own motivation and character, then my written characters will benefit, as well. My goal is to write a Dave Sedaris style collection of essays, and I'm focusing on childhood tales. I'm going for funny, insightful, and unique POV stories. My family is full of characters, and these are the things that made me who I am.

But I am also a result of some hard stuff. It's been nagging at me, and I've been fighting the urge to write about the traumas. But, even if no one but me ever reads it, I've decided that I have to write it.

I sat down today to start. I wrote five pages, all about an event that happened when I was eighteen. It was hard. I really don't mind talking about it, when the topic comes up, and I'm not secretive about it. But writing it is a completely different animal. I have no idea whether or not I actually captured the feelings, and depicted it as best I can -- I doubt it, since it is a raw first draft.

I have been sitting here, writing, for two hours, and I have felt the urge to vomit for most of it. The nausea in my gut is a sure sign that I'm on to something, no? I'm fearless, I swear; when it comes to honesty and the search for meaning, anyway. But I am wondering how the hell to do this. I guess I'll figure it out as I go along.

I have no idea how to edit such a thing, yet. I can't even re-read it. I'm not going to worry over it at the moment. Today's work is done.

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