“Write from the scar, not the wound” is advice given to those writing memoir. However, that’s not always possible. Then you attempt to turn that wound into wisdom.
There is an art to radical vulnerability and I’m trying to learn it. Trying to take care of myself in the midst of writing memoir while getting re-triggered when looking through old journals, pictures, emails and texts.
Is this necessary, one might ask.
I believe it is.
I have been stripped of many things I love. Some things are because of my doing, my wrong doing. I don’t want to hide behind secrets, especially my own.
But I have not been stripped of writing.
I’m finding my own rituals to empower and protect me. Last night I stayed up late making play lists. One for dancing, so I move my body to get energized then dance it off after the tough stuff. Yea, songs that might motivate you in an aerobics class, corny and upbeat. Everybody Dance Now, Can’t Stop That Feeling or Love Shack. My empowering playlist includes, Lizzo’s Good As Hell, Girl by Maren Morris and Dianna Ross I’m Coming Out. U2’s Walk On continues to be my theme song.
My friend, Wendy, suggested a monster doll to sit with me. I like that idea and found a very cute one on Etsy. It’s got to be cute, not scary. Cute felted monster.
Thanks Chris for sending me this Brevity essay by Aimee Christine.
By Aimee Christian
I thought I knew what I was getting into when I started my memoir because I’d been writing personal essays and creative nonfiction for some time. It didn’t take me long to learn that I was wrong. Writing memoir meant wandering around in my past in a whole new way, and I learned that my past can be a pretty bad neighborhood to be in alone.
When I try to re-immerse myself in how it felt to be a child or a teenager, it’s nearly impossible not to feel all the feelings from those early years, which is great for the story but, as it turns out, is terrible for my marriage and my children. In revisiting my memories to write, I found myself mourning breakups, looking up old apartments on Zillow, Googling my bullies from summer camp, and spending hours rereading old journals and old yearbooks…
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One thought on “Writing A Memoir Can Be Dangerous Work. Protect Yourself!”
Yes! Self-care and having something to look forward to. Dancing is great to move things through you. My inspiration for the monster doll was to have something tangible (that could embody your sadness or grief) that you could cuddle but set down every now & then…to get relief from the feeling of carrying something heavy around with you all the time. A little respite here and there as you move forward.
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