Why I Write

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I ask myself daily: Why am I writing this? Is anyone really reading it? Is this what I should be writing? Am I over sharing? Who cares? What will I make of all this? And then I keep writing, for some strange reason. I write because I feel compelled to. I open my eyes and a story starts to unravel in my head.

I’ve been writing a memoir for years – here and there, via journal scribblings, poems, post-it note phrases, letters, stories – and for the past few years, this blog.

I set out to write a literary memoir about the impact of absent fathers on African American women (but then my posts about men turned out to be light-hearted and funny). I intended have the first chapter revolve around my father – a Vietnam War veteran who suffered from post traumatic stress disorder. That may still be the first chapter.

Here, I write a lot about dating and the single life (what men and women want, what I love about men, dating younger men, etc.). In merging my book idea and my blog content, I could ask these questions: Do my dating and relationship patterns tie in to my father’s absence? (He and my mother separated when I was twelve. Thirteen years passed before I saw him again.) How can I shape what I’ve lived, and what I’ve seen?

I’m reading Beth Kephart’s book Handling the Truth: on the writing of memoir. In it, she says:

“Real memoirists, literary memoirists, don’t justify behaviors, decisions, moods… Real memoirists open themselves to self-discovery and, in the process, make themselves vulnerable – not just to the world but also to themselves.”

Memoirists look back. (This is the work I’ve been avoiding.)

What do my letters, poems, journal entries, stories, rants, and blog posts mean? What have I learned? What do I believe? What kind of voice do I have? How do my personal stories transcend me? Can I impact other people’s lives by telling them?

I’m looking back.

Decidedly, I’ll leave you with a note I wrote six years ago about my first boyfriend. He meant the world to me. I met him when I was thirteen.

image

I’m writing a memoir.

~~Xoxox



Categories: Blogging, Memoir, Personal Stories

Tags: , , , , , , ,

24 replies

  1. Well, someone like me, cares. I empathise with your story and I say, finish your work and try to get it published like I did with my two books recently. You can view my journey on my blog home page if you like. All the very best πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I look forward to your stories. It seems as if our thoughts are shared at times. You just told me something about my uncle that I didn’t know. 😦
    I’m not surprised because a lot if vets suffer throughout life. The sad part about it, they never get the help that’s needed. It’s not because they don’t want to it’s because they don’t have help.

    My husband (David) been to war 5 times. Can you imagine what they go through. He’s also scheduled for another deployment in 2015.

    Your blogs get me through the day. Some hilarious , sad and romantic. I’m looking for a book. *hint*

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sure you already know how I feel about your talent and your craft. I follow only two bloggers: you and Ms.Teezy.

    Your calling is to give life to the words that exist inside of you. Never let this dream go; never sacrifice it for anything … or anyone. This is a gift; a blessing.

    πŸ˜‰ You draw me in every time …

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love reading your blog. If you’re writing a book – your memoirs – sign me up! I want a copy. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hi, love your blog. I am drawn in by your writing. Your gift started early, perhaps even before the age of thirteen! Never stop even though sometimes you might waver. I would review your memoir in a heartbeat!
    Keep shining!

    Blessings,
    Clara

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I so resonated with this post. I ask myself all those same questions. The big one: am I oversharing? Of course I am. If I wasn’t, wouldn’t it be boring? I look forward to reading more, as you look back.

    Like

  7. “The writing process is so tortuous sometimes, isn’t it?”

    YES. I sometimes find myself staring blankly at the walls when the words just won’t come. And when they do finally decide to come, it’s like a flood … or a hurricane, even. I, too, share more now than I ever have in the past. If my words – if my **story** – can somehow help someone else, then so be it. My being naked and vulnerable has served its purpose.

    Like

  8. I still wonder sometimes Quentin…

    Like

    • Oh, I have my doubts sometimes, too. LOL. It’s 03:00 a.m., C.S.T. right now. Guess what I’m doing? YEP. I can’t sleep, so I’ve been half-steppin’ on writing. My brain just won’t shut down. I know there’s a purpose to why I am compelled to write. What that purpose is … I don’t know, but I’m going to follow along this path and see where it eventually leads.

      Whether you realize it or not, your words touch others. It may not seem like it sometimes, but they do. They have meaning. They have impact. They have purpose. We, as writers, may not ever get to witness what our words – our craft – do for people, but rest assured … someone out there is touched by what we put down on the proverbial pen and paper.

      God only knows, Shakiyla … I’m in my mid-forties. LOL. I can’t help but to wonder daily if this really *is* the career move I need to (no, no … that’s not right. “SHOULD”) make. My heart and soul says “YES!”.

      Honestly? You have a true gift; a blessing, really. You, Ms._Teezy, and me – we’re writers. We give life to the words inside of us. We set them free every time we sit down in front of the screen and start typing. It is our calling. It’s what we’re meant to do. That sounds so altruistic and naive, doesn’t it? LOLOLOLOL. =P But it’s true.

      Keep the faith, lady. πŸ˜‰

      Like

      • Yes, it’s that feeling of being compelled to do it. It’s 5:10am EST. My alarm is set for 6:10. First thing did when I woke up? Reading your comment! πŸ™‚

        You’re right. We may just never witness – but we keep going. I didn’t know you were a “full-time” writer! As long as you’re following your heart and soul – no regrets!

        Like

  9. I enjoyed reading your blog. I know your memoir will be just as entertaining and thought provoking! Thnks for visiting my blog.

    Keep-a- going,
    Clara

    Like

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