I was searching for a document on my laptop yesterday when I came across something rather odd. It was a file simply titled memoir.
I don’t remember creating it. I have half a dozen files containing other books competing for my time, crowding up my hard drive and floating around in my head. I’ve been thinking about writing my memoir for, oh, maybe 10 years, but I don’t recall starting that file. I have episodes and antics and sob stories jotted down on scraps and tucked in a desk drawer.
And that’s all.
It’s so easy to not write a memoir. Are you doing it too? It’s easy to avoid showing your darkest days to the world. It’s easy to not let yourself be that vulnerable as a writer. And it’s way safer to keep the stories to yourself, so you don’t offend anyone in your life with the truth, your truth.
Stay in your cage.
So, I opened the file and found an 800 word introduction that wasn’t entirely crappy, just waiting for me.
It didn’t even sound familiar. I have no memory of creating it at all. Which is really kind of sad, but it was written in 2010, during the height of my Lyme induced brain fog.
What a lovely surprise it would be now, if I hadn’t completely decided against writing my memoir, or at least THAT memoir. I decided that this particular story does not want to be told. [Translation: I don't want to tell it.]
Or do I? Is it worth the risk? And what will it accomplish? Writing it may be like therapy, rehashing the past, bringing it up and examining it all over again at a time when I want to move forward and not ever, ever, look back.
Do you know how useless I think that is?
How about you help me decide? I hate making decisions. Do you know this about me yet?
So here is an excerpt from the discovered file. It’s the story of how something so small wreaked havoc on my health and rippled out, touching every aspect in my life. From this snippet is seems that I am blaming all of life’s trouble on my illness, which isn’t entirely true. It set things in motion. I promise, it is not all whiny and mopey. There will be a test (poll) after, so pay attention.
A tick walked across my arm last night. I froze in terror, as if this tiny little bug held my life in its grip. How can something so small do so much damage? It’s the littlest things in this world that can break us down or build us up slowly, like a smile or a word or a frequent lack. A heart can break gradually over the years, shedding a layer here and a bit there, wearing it down to a raw, faint beat.
That’s how with it happened to me.
Sitting frozen I saw six years flash by me as this evil crawled down to my wrist. I watched my health break down, day by day. My life and love and hope went with it.
Would you write a memoir that exposes events you want to leave behind? Or will you not write your memoir?