|Title||Writing The Dark Past (11.29.10)|
|Publication Type||Web Article|
|Year of Publication||2010|
|Access Date||Dec 12 2011|
|Last Update Date||Nov 29, 2010|
|Keywords||Facing 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.