Thursday, February 9, 2017

Staying in the Depths

My latest project, a memoir about my years as an ex-pat, is a bit like trying to swim in a cold mountain lake after a long hot hike. I want to get in. I know it will feel good. I’m certain I won’t regret it. I dip a toe in and pull back. I walk in up to my knees and run out. I just can’t get all the way in. So it goes with this memoir. What’s holding me back? What’s keeping me from diving in and staying in the depths until I complete the first draft?

Perhaps it’s the subject matter: memories buried deep by time, distance and language.

Perhaps part of me resists re-entering the world of that lost young woman searching for self in a foreign land.

Perhaps I struggle to face the truths and lies of that younger me, to look her in the eye and offer acceptance, understanding, even forgiveness for the pain she caused.

Perhaps denial is easier than facing the loss of friends once so dear who have slipped through the fingers of time.

Perhaps I have nothing to say.

Are these challenges personal or inherent to memoir writing? Perhaps a bit of both. For me, the solution is found in discipline: diving in and staying in the frigid water until the work is done.

If you’re in the Seattle area, I hope you can join me this Saturday to discuss and practice memoir writing.

Writing Memoir: What? Why? How?
Mountlake Terrace Library
23300 58th Ave W
Mountlake Terrace, WA
Saturday, February 11, 2017
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


Jan said...

Forgiving your younger self is the hardest thing to do. If I was up there in Seattle I'd love to come to your class. Best wishes - hope it goes well!

arleen said...

And meeting you in person would be such a pleasure! Thanks for your support, Jan.