Written words can get worn out like mismatched socks in the back of a dresser drawer; or stale like a loaf of old bread growing moldy in the breadbox. Words are not always adequate to express what needs to be articulated or communicated. Sometimes my pen collects dust on the desk along with the empty pad of paper or the computer screen stares back at me with its blank screen. Why try? I say to myself. There is no point in this. Who cares what I have to say? What can be expressed that hasn't been said before?
I would have to spend every minute of my life writing to complete my opus. As it is my existence with all its distractions keeps knocking me off task. On the other hand if it wasn’t for daily life what would there be to express? I’ve often thought that the creative process is much like being pregnant; from the conception of an idea, through the labor of writing to the birth of the finished work. I am also protective of my “babies” before I send them out into the world, whether they are poems, essays to contests, or blog posts.
I have a couple of writer friends who are willing to read my work and offer reflections, but not everyone gets as excited as I do. I have emailed posts or links to my blogs to friends or family, expecting an immediate response and what I get is, “I haven’t had time to read your email”, or “I saved your post to read another time. I am really busy.” People have busy lives; I have come to terms with that. I continue writing every day on whatever the muse brings forth, and she can be elusive or demanding at any given moment. The point is to make myself available.
Memoirs, like all stories, need to have focus; a beginning, a middle, and an end. This is my biggest challenge, this focus. I imagine there are those who are curious about what it was like living in a religious cult or how I recovered from years of domestic violence as a battered woman. Where do I start? My personal story has taken on a life of its own and now that I have perspective (and hopefully some wisdom) maybe my story will inspire or give encouragement to another and make a difference is someone’s life.
There is always the question; fact or fiction? Maybe it isn’t a memoir that I should be writing, but a work of fiction; changing the names to protect the privacy of those I have known over the years. No matter, for me it’s all about the journey. I write because I believe words can give hope, healing and voice the universal and serves a purpose that is larger than my individual life.