Chutzpah

Is it brave to write a memoir? Often times I think it is brazen. It would take more chutzpah for me to sit down and shut up than it does for me to tell these stories. It’s the easy way out. Don’t invent characters and figure out their motivations. Sit there and stare at your own brain and the brains of those around you and figure out their motivations. You just have to think about it and observe, it is not an act of creation. You don’t have to be consistent, just truthful. Hell, you don’t even have to be truthful, you just have to be emotionally truthful and write about it well. We can do no wrong.

What can you not shut up about?

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10 responses to “Chutzpah

  1. I think it’s brave. I could never in a thousand years write memoir. To me it seems more creative than making shit up, because you have to find a pattern and weave the whole thing together and make a story of your life. When I get to an awkward place, I can always invent something to make it work. With memoir, you are stuck with what you’ve lived. It seems so much more difficult.

  2. To me brazen implies something wilful and mean which I don’t think memoir writing is (although I suppose it could be?) Bold maybe? And I don’t think it’s easy – so many extra things to worry about.

    I think chutzpah was one of the very first Yiddish words I ever read as an adolescent. And yes, I heard it in my head exactly as it’s written CH-UTZ-PAH.

  3. I am to shutting up as water to is to fire, or, um, something like that. Never said I was a poet. Leave that to Indy. K Indy?

  4. I think it is brave. I also think that the really good ones aren’t just spewing down what happened but picking and choosing the events and the angle on the events the same way you would with fiction. I think really good memoir is much closer to fiction that documentary if that makes any sense.
    Although I think memoir requires much more heavy drinking. At least for me it would.

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