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Writing in memoir can be a painful experience. I know how many times I’ve heard this from fellow memoir writers, and I can certainly attest to this.
As writers, we all go through the cycle of self-doubt, writers block, frustration, jubilation, and of course, all of our emotions are touched while bringing our characters to life when using some of our own experiences in our stories. There’s no difference in whether our books are factual or fiction because there is much truth in fiction too.
Memoir writing brings its own special kind of pain – the pain of having to relive unhappy moments over and over again, not just while we write and conjure up these painful memories, but again in re-writes, revisions, and edits, while we polish our stories. The process becomes similar to going to a therapy session where we bear our raw selves and hurts to a specialist until we can reach some resolution while remembering emotional pain.
I know that my writing in memoir takes me back to some dark places in time, and quite often I have to put the pen down, or walk away from the computer for an emotional time out to distance myself from the past abyss of emotional pain.
Writing in memoir is writing raw. Not only do we have to relive unpleasant memories to be able to convey our stories, but we’re baring and sharing our souls to the world once published. It takes a lot of guts to write in memoir – to face our demons and share them publicly. So what’s in it for me despite the pain?
- My aim is to help others who can not only relate to my stories, but to offer hope for those who share similar struggles in their own lives and hoping they can take in some encouragement from my own lessons learned and my own resolutions.
- By the time I’ve finished writing and re-writing, I discover the catharsis in my own revelations. The process becomes similar to one of those long sessions I might have otherwise have had with a therapist who helped me to discover resolution and peace to my inner conflicts.
I came across an interesting quote regarding the pain of writing in memoir.