The idea of writing memoir has been tugging at me for the past year, mostly because I love reading the genre, but also because I am fascinated by the inner life (mine and everyone else’s). I’m less interested in the superficial details that make up a person’s life; rather, I want to know the deeper meaning behind who they are and what made them this way. I want to know what they’ve learned about themselves, others, and the word. I want to hear about the difficult moments; how they’ve overcome adversity; their journey from being lost to becoming found. I want to read the juicy parts and everything in between.
When it comes to reading memoir, I’m indiscriminate. You’ll find works on my bookshelf written by alcoholics, drug lords, religious extremists, and freedom fighters, to those written by the badly wounded and transformed, or those who have had extraordinary spiritual experiences and led amazing lives. Some of the writers are famous, but most are ordinary types like you and me. I find that people who are self-reflective and thoughtful about their lives are much more interesting than those who attempt to hide behind a veneer of perfection. Show me the ugly, dirty truth. Then tell me what’s beautiful about yourself, and your life.
I decided to write in order to honor my life and experiences, but also to heal by telling and re-framing some of the stories that live inside me. Once the words appear on the page, I can no longer hide. I think to myself, “Is this how I truly feel? Is this what really happened or is this a distortion I have chosen to nurture and keep alive.” My decision to write memoir came after I decided to come out to myself, and the world. I am no longer afraid of what others might think, say, or do. I choose to honor myself, my life, and my experiences. Writing helps me to unlock the creative aspects of my being that are manifesting and finding expression in the world.