Obviously, my mind has been on memoir.
It’s exciting, invigorating, curative even; however, it’s not – as some people believe – revenge.
Just as forgiveness is more about us than those we forgive, memoir is the same. It’s about the author, the writer stating their peace. While some memoirs may read like revenge, they are more about sharing, maybe even confessing.
While Anne Sexton wrote confessional poetry better than anyone else I can name, confessional memoir comes in different flavors.
When I think of confessional memoir, I used to consider Life on the Edge or Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher. Some people would think of Spare by Prince Harry – but these are celebrity memoirs which carry a very different weight in the market.
Confessional memoirs will offer insight, a new way of looking at life and understanding people. Consider Dirty River by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarsinna who writes about being a disabled queer woman and survivor of abuse. Not the only example – Lit by Mary Karr, Unspeakable by Meghan Daum will offer more mainstream insights into death, illness, alcoholism, recovery. But we will come away with empathy for the human condition as lived through these authors.
These stories that will hurt your heart instead of shock your eyes.
While I’m working on a few pieces of memoir right now, they may not shock your eyes but some parts may hurt your heart. Certain pieces will speak to some people and not to others. Some readers will wonder, others may doubt. A person or two may become upset – upset with me – but confessional or not – it’s personal, it’s mine. And their upset will be their problem.
Writing memoir is not for the faint of heart. It’s not for the shy or the scared – and maybe it’s not even for the “brave” – it’s for those who need to speak, who need to heal, who might be heard, and for those very souls who need to hear it.
You must be logged in to post a comment.