This post is going to ramble on about writing a fictional piece drawing from personal experiences, so I understand if you don’t wish to read it if you are not into the writing life.
Anyway, also allow me to preface that I am a bit cranky due to chronic foot pain and a stubborn streak of not asking for narcotics to dull the pain. I simply do not wish to become constipated. >horrified face: TMI! <
Okie-dokie, here we go. Last week I began reading a client’s life story. It is interesting, exposing much of this person’s history. At first I didn’t actually want to read it, thinking it might slant my objectivity as this person’s counselor and I struggled for months about the pros and cons to desiring to read it and the real possibility that there may be information in there this person hasn’t disclosed, and the risk of this potentially causing some difficult transference issues.
Okay, I decided that the potential benefits outweighed the risks and I purchased the eBook. I am glad I am reading it, I think it will benefit the therapy sessions and I am ready to let this client know how honored I am to be her helper.
But I digress. This reading of a life story inspired me to continue writing my own memoir based on my life. First I struggled with the constraints of traditional memoir, which focuses only on one short time period. I struggled with the tense in which I wanted to write and have since decided on a first person present tense to provide a more literary panache. I also decided to begin at the beginning, which is to say, the beginning of my protagonist’s story, the start of her vision trouble and a family divorce upheaval. This is what I know, thus, this is why I am writing. I have also chosen to fictionalize the story and change names, places, and other items to protect those still living. I have not, however, sugar-coated any of it, just sprinkled on a little literary license.
It is excruciating to write this, to put personalities down on paper, to put hurts, traumas and other family issues to the virtual pen and hope they make sense, are relevant to the reader and don’t cause too much backlash when the book is finally published.
The latter is my biggest fear; I know I want it published, I know I deserve to have it published because I took the time and effort to write it. Yes, I do want the book to affect others, to make them empathize, sympathize, emote and maybe even want to rip the book to pieces. Most of all, I want to know that the lines printed out in the book will resonate with people, that I will connect with people through the written word. This is one of the reasons why I believe I was chosen to write, to create. Am I borderline eccentric? Perhaps. I am going to keep on writing because it is what my soul needs and for what I was born to do. I am also hoping that what I write resonates with someone else and helps them on a path of acceptance and peace.
Personal fulfillment comes in many forms, this is just one form.
End of my rant, now onto writing the actual story, right?
Below is the poem inspiring the rant:
Line By Line
By Ann Chiappetta
one character at a time
creates the word
a word strung together with others
Divines a sentence, Forming
Lines collect into paragraphs, transforming
a blank screen, filling
a file with text
One page at a time.
Conveys a thought
Identifies a feeling, recorded
One syllable at a time
A breath, an intonation expresses
A desire to act
One movement at a time pushes
awareness to the sweet spot, the goal
recollections, via The pinnacle of a mind
The story coalesces
By character, word, line, page
By thought, feeling, emotion, action
assembled page by page, experience
gathered only with reflections and the acuity of time.