I just wrote 3 additional pages to my memoir tonight. I am close to finally finishing my baby, and I have been working on this for a long time.
People wonder why it takes so long, yet this isn’t fiction. I am not dealing with characters from my mind or imagination. If I were, I could treat them with a different perspective and emotional stance, but since I am writing my own story, it is a whole different ball game.
Tonight I was working on a section that covered a sad and dark time in my life, and after three pages, I just couldn’t keep going for the night. It is not always fun to write about these things so honestly, yet I feel in order for the book to be authentic and worthwhile in a literary fashion, I have to be distant enough to provide a perspective that I didn’t have while in the actual situation. And even though I am more than distant from the scenario I wrote about, since I am having a bad day, I find it hard to face the page for extended periods of time.
One of the things I love about doing comedy is that I can take dark moments and make light (er) of them. It is a refreshing break for me, and provides me with a different medium in which to be artistic. It also makes me happy, usually, although I sometimes find the atmosphere of comedy to not be so awesome.
Writing a book however, is such a mentally and emotionally fulfilling project, but it is one that takes time.
You need to have space from yourself in order to craft a memoir that can really bring depth, humor, and honesty, in my opinion. From the first day I started until now, I can tell you that I have finally learned what the real heart of the book is, and where the meat of my story is. If someone asked me years ago to write a book jacket for my upcoming memoir, I would have panicked. Now that I have spent a great deal of time writing this book along with more time and perspective, that book jacket doesn’t seem so daunting.
I know the story so intimately not only because it is my own, but because I have spent so much time crafting it, that I know what is it that needs to be told, and for the most part, what doesn’t.
But on days when I am feeling sad or doubtful, it is hard to face the page with the same expertise and skill that I normally have.
This project has been such a big deal to me, and I cannot wait to have it published, and it will be.
There is no try, only do.