For the past three years, I have been writing my memoir. It’s actually been more like going to graduate school – learning the craft, practicing, toughening my skin for critique and rejection. Not all a walk in the park.
So why on earth do I do it? Because I have a story only I can tell, a burning desire to tell it and, quite frankly, I can’t help myself.
So I have a few confessions to make:
Confession #1: I spend more time exploring how I present other people than how I present myself.
I angst over ways to AVOID disparaging anyone else, even though the truth may indicate otherwise while still telling the story I need to tell.
A common perception of memoir writers is that we are “narcissistic”… me, me, me. But the truth is, I spend inordinate amounts of time writing, rewriting, analyzing and fretting over how my words will impact another.
Yes, my memoir is about ME but it’s more about the mistakes I’ve made, the lessons I’ve learned over time and the time I lived in. It’s an invitation into my world that hopefully will help you connect with your own world. A story with a message.
Confession #2: When I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing.
You might think I’m not working when I’m staring out the window but that’s when my creative juices are cranking up. That’s why you’ll see me scribbling on napkins in a restaurant or digging through my purse to retrieve a piece to paper to write down my thoughts. So when I take a walk in the garden, I’m actually “on the clock.”
Confession #3: I can’t help myself. I have to write every day.
If I don’t write every day, I’m up half the night with thoughts, ideas, words swirling in my head, it will not stop until I get up out of bed and put them in their rightful place on the page.
Confession #4: My left brain is as busy as my right brain.
I enjoy mixing it up with outlines, storyboards on one end or freewriting in a journal, and drawing a mandela while listening to soothing music on the other end.
I enjoy learning the rules and knowing what the standard of practice is, but I also enjoy breaking them in my own unique way.
Confession #5: I see stories everywhere.
The most mundane circumstances can be rich with story. Just stand in line at a grocery store and observe the dynamics of the people. On a recent vacation to Missouri to visit friends, I ended up doing a blog post about my trip because, everywhere I looked, I saw a story that needed to be told. I was like a roving reporter, notebook in hand jotting down notes and taking pictures. I had a great time. Here’s my post.
Mea Culpa. I am writing a memoir. I can’t help myself. It’s just the way it is. My penance is I’ll just have to learn to live with myself until my memoir is completed and I start on the next one.
Memoir writers, can you relate?
Kathleen Pooler’s Bio:
Kathleen Pooler is a writer and a retired Family Nurse Practitioner who is working on a memoir about how the power of hope through her faith in God has helped her to transform, heal and transcend life’s obstacles and disappointments: divorce, single parenting, loving and letting go of an alcoholic son, cancer and heart failure to live a life of joy and contentment. She believes that hope matters and that we are all strengthened and enlightened when we share our stories.
She blogs weekly at her Memoir Writer’s Journey blog: http://krpooler.com and can be found on Twitter @kathypooler and on LinkedIn, Google+, Goodreads and Facebook: Kathleen Pooler
One of her stories “ The Stone on the Shore” is published in the anthology: “The Woman I’ve Become: 37 Women Share Their Journeys From Toxic Relationships to Self-Empowerment” by Pat LaPointe.
This blog post is Copyright Kathleen Pooler 2013. All rights are reserved Internationally. You may not reproduce it in any form, in part of whole, without the author’s prior written permission. That includes usage in forms such as print, audio and digital imaging including pdf, jpg, png etc. A fee may be requested for re-use if it is for a commercial venture.