12 Dec 2011

Writing The Dark Past (11.29.10)

Submitted by Stephen Winters
TitleWriting The Dark Past (11.29.10)
Publication TypeWeb Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsRember, J
Access Year2011
Access DateDec 12 2011
Last Update DateNov 29, 2010
KeywordsFacing Our Dark Side, Journaling, Writing Memoirs

Often enough, a memory will present itself to you, only to be turned away because you’re not sure you can face it or do it justice. Do that often enough and your memories will stop offering themselves. No memories, no memoir.

Writers often face what looks like a bleak choice: either resurrect unpleasant memory, or focus on happier times and risk writing stories that are superficial and contrived and short on meaning.

In a memoir, it’s hard to hit the depth of emotion and wisdom you want to convey without including seminal events. Some of those seminal events are going to be dark and disturbing or full of shame and embarrassment.

So—and I don’t mean this to be as callous as it sounds—deal with it. And the way you deal with it is scene by scene, story by story, until you’ve got it finished on the page. Finish it well enough, and it can’t hurt you anymore.

Citation KeyctkeyWritDarkPast

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