Not long ago, someone made a remark about my blog writing being my memoirs. It wasn’t said kindly either. I was shocked at that. Yes, I write personal things. Yes, they are true and did occur in my life. Are they my memoirs? Hardly. I don’t think my life has been interesting enough for that. I follow two rules that I learned in a creative writing class: 1) write what you know and 2) make it relatable. So, in my blog writing I am sharing knowledge and experience. Some of it I learned from others and some I learned the hard way. You can have your own take on it. You don’t have to agree with me. You don’t even have to like what I write. It is my choice to write what I do and your choice to read it or not. I appreciate those of you who do.
If I did put together my memoirs, would anyone actually read it? First of all, there are still too many people alive, including myself, for me to have an autobiography or memoir.
Deep, dark secrets! Unbelievable tales of love lost and won! Stories of bravery and courage!
Even though I sincerely believe I could never shock anyone, that wasn’t a bad build up, was it? The point is, we all have things we’d rather not admit to or share with others. I am not out to hurt or shock anyone. Writing your memoirs means you’ve got to forgo the worry of hurting someone and/or run the risk of informing someone of something you might not really want them to know. I have my share of flaws, I admit. I own them. It’s not something I’m proud of, but I will at least admit to what’s true. And you don’t need to hear every ugly detail. Even though, through my writing, I have shared some very personal things, it was never supposed to be about me as a person. I am not out there waving a flag and tooting my own horn. What I am sharing is my humanity and the way I see the world in hopes that it reaches someone who needs to hear it. Many times, when you listen to a group of siblings reminiscing about the past, you will hear different takes on the same story based on age or gender or just simply the way it affected them. That’s the same with my blogging. You might have gone through the same experience and viewed it completely different. Neither of us is wrong. I am not saying that either of us benefited, nor suffered from it, any more than the other. We aren’t matching bookends. The human experience is an individual thing.
When I have the chance to go to the library, the first section I go to is the area where the biographies and autobiographies are located. I enjoy reading about other people’s lives and experiences. When my husband and I travel, we decide which ones to download to his Kindle for me to read aloud on the trip. The juicier, the better. Celebrity lifestyles are hardly comparable to ours. I wonder if any of them ever asked themselves if it was worth it after they wrote it. Spilling secrets, sharing intimate details, and baring your soul sounds enticing, but I’d have to ask if I’d want my children or grandchildren to read it and can I truly be that honest? Does it count if you aren’t totally truthful about yourself and anyone you are writing about? Do I have to be 80 before I just don’t give a hoot anymore what I say or who I tell?
No, I think memoir writing is just not for me. You’ll have to suffer through my blogs with my personal anecdotes, stories, and images as a way to bring home a message. It’s always the truth, just not every detail. It’s been honest and raw a few times. I would love to save some people from some of my experiences. I’d like to comfort others who have not fared as well in some of the same things. I just want you to know that I understand. I know how you feel or can at least relate to it. While I don’t consider myself a worldly person by any stretch of the imagination, I do think I am a good judge of character and situations. Been there, done that carries a lot of weight. Wouldn’t you rather read someone’s account of something they went through instead of one given by someone who knows the story, but wasn’t there?
While I have unsuccessfully started many a novel that ended up in the trash, it would be easier to write my story. I just don’t think anyone would care. Apparently, I only know how to write from this angle though. I have to write from the heart with truth running its strands through the entirety or it just doesn’t feel right to me. When I finish a blog, I run it by a few people to get feedback. I ask questions like how does it read, how does it make you feel, and am I being clear enough about the topic? I ask people who know me because they understand my intent and line of thinking. These words are me. I am not just feeding you info from some doctor. I am not quoting anyone else. It’s all me, going out to you.
Perhaps if you read all of my blogs for the past 4 years, you could feel like you know me. Your impression might not be that far off the mark, but you’ll never know everything about me. I am still discovering things about myself. Do we ever really know anyone completely? I still find myself saying to my husband, “Did I ever tell you about the time I…” and he has said in return, “I thought you knew that I really liked….” It’s not keeping secrets, it’s just it has never come up before. It keeps life interesting. As long as you are living life, there’s more to tell.
So, if I ever decided to write my autobiography, I think the title would be, “Life is Short and So Am I”. Maybe it should be a “short” story instead. By the time you take out the inane, the ridiculous, and the best to be forgotten parts, it might only be short story worthy. I hope that whatever you do is memoir worthy and becomes a best seller. As for me, we’ll just keep on going and hoping that somehow, it makes a difference. We’ll just keep on living life.