My friend Y sent me a link to this New York Times article about memoir. The author of the article reminds us that nobody likes to read sensitive books about people who look great, make a million dollars, and have mind-blowing sex at least every other day. We like to read about people who are vulnerable and in pain. We like to read about people who overcome all the odds, whatever those odds are. (Sorry about the cliche.)
I’m newly inspired. I’m trying to write until it hurts. I’m writing about the idiot I was in high school, the people I loved that I shouldn’t have, the limited ways I looked at things. The fear, of course, is that nothing has changed. Although, I can see some improvements, I also fear the impact of my writing.
Am I writing my way into a panic attack? Am I writing my way into misery? Am I writing until I want to drink not just one whiskey but ten? Am I writing grief tighter into my psyche? Am I doing it right? Am I doing it wrong?