"...everything in life is writable...if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt."..... Sylvia Plath

Friday, November 9, 2012

Emergent Memoir

Author's notes: This project is just getting underway. It may be too early to start posting excerpts as I haven't even finished the first draft. But I want to explore different approaches and test the content to see if a story about me and my grandparents might appeal to readers. Aside from ny children, no one in my family is still alive except my sister and she doesn't remember much. I've been able to unleash quite a few memories because I spent a lot of time with and was very close to them. But the memories are coming from all directions and I've found dealing with the time lines rather difficult. 

Also, there's a lot of research necessary to the various locations and events in the story, which is slowing down my flow (a major part of my process).  My voice as a young child seems to be coming through, which is good, but I sense there are a lot of emotional feelings that are trying to get out. It's a little scary, but I want to dig deeper and open myself up completely. 

if you enjoyed this post, feel free to leave a comment


  1. Nancy, let it flow. Once you've opened the gate, the memories rush in. Try to capture as many as you can just the way they come to you. Snatch every one that comes to mind, even though they're not coming in order.

    That's why it took me so long to write my memoir. There were major scenes and minor scenes all hitting me at once. I wrote them as soon as I could find paper. It was amazing! I found the hardest part was weaving them together into a coherent reading experience. This took love, time and patience.

    You have something to share that many are waiting for. Time will be plenty to rewrite many times, but don't force it. Your heart will know when it's done. Grandparents live within us. Too bad we never thought to ask questions while they were still near. A loss we can never recapture.

    Hugs, Nancy MacMillan @blogofavetswife@blogspot.com

  2. Nancy, Thank you so much for these amazing comments. I connected immediately. This is exactly the experience I've been having...and the reason why I love writing memoir. It's also why my timeline was so off. And that doesn't bother me, 'cause that can always be rectified during rewrite and crafting. When the rushing begins, it is such a high.

    I actually had to stop and squelch the flow so I could attend to my business. We had a very busy October working 10-12 hours a day, then I became ill (sick for two weeks). I didn't want to forget about the memoir completely so contrived a way on this blog to stay in touch with it. But, now that I am feeling better, I'm ready to open the gates again.

    Thank you again, Nancy and lots of hugs to you. You're one of the few who seems to fully understand. Maybe there's a difference in the process of writers of memoir and those of other genres. :=)(this could possibly be a good topic for an article or essay).

  3. Hello Nancy -it's your hermit niece from Northern California. I'm enjoying these pieces and would love to see more. Please email me at the fiveways address and we can update contact info. Sorry, I dont do Facebook or other social networking at present. Best to you K

  4. Hi hermit niece. Wow! so glad to hear from you. I think about you often. Will definitely send you more stuff when I get back to work on the it. Right now the BnB is so busy and I don't have a lot of time to write, but will be getting back to it soon. I don't have an address for you. Try emailing me at alekhouse@aol.com. Then I can answer your email.