Having been born with a pen in hand, I ponder, every now and then, an idea of writing a memoir. I honestly have no idea what it is and how to go about it. However, I do believe I have something to say and to share with interested parties.
As with any other project, writing a memoir is full of issues and points to consider. One of the most complex, complicated and sensitive points is telling other people stories.
We are social creatures. We meet people along the way all the time. Our lives are tied up and interconnected with other people’s lives. Moreover, our life story is nothing without other people in it. They (people) affect us, our choices, our behaviours, our feelings and lessons we draw. Thus, when telling our own story we absolutely have to pepper it with other people’s actions, words, relationships and attitudes.
How are we to do it? Whose story is it? How do we navigate this mind field?
In the twenty-five years during which I’ve been publishing books, readers have often made the assumption that I must feel exposed, and also, that I must be somehow comfortable betraying others. Dani Shapiro
“What took place on his side of the closed bedroom door is his story,” Dubus responded. “What happened to me as I walked down the hall and heard the sounds behind that closed door—that was mine.”
When writing, do I have to please everyone? Do I have to stop at every single line and think ‘what will so and so think about this, about me’ ‘will I hurt their feelings’ ‘will they like it’ ‘will we still be friends’?
What if I don’t? What if I just write. As subjective or as objective as I can. It’s my story anyway. Not theirs