Posted by: ArtisrRJ19 | September 17, 2012

Write My Memoir…

Write My Memoirs? Are You Kidding?

When the notion to write my memoirs initially occurred to me, the first question I asked was this: “Who would want to read my memoirs?” After all, I’m not rich or famous (at least not yet).  And, except for a poem that I published in an anthology in 2005, I’m not a published author–yet.  Further, my acting resume is only mediocre at best, and I have yet to make it to Broadway.  So why would anybody want to read about me?

As I continued to ponder the issue, I found that when I re-framed the question, other answers presented themselves.  Instead of seeking reasons why others might not be interested in learning about my life story, I began to ask, “If I were not me, would I be interested in reading about me?”  And, if so, why?  What a revelation it was when my head began to buzz with possibilities!

I found myself looking back over the decades of my life and discovering personal qualities that I had paid little attention to. For example, I had been the only person in my immediate family to go to college.  And at age 16, I had left home to seek a better educational and personal life for myself.  Leaving home so early was an extremely gutsy and risky effort for a shy, introverted, Catholic teenager.  And I certainly was that.

How I found the courage to do that, I reasoned, might be something for me to explore and share with readers who might have experienced something similar; or, who might have wanted to leave home as a young person, but who may not have been able to muster up the courage to follow through.  Surely, there were lessons I experienced that others might be interested in learning about.  But would I be interested in telling that story?  Could there be more stories to tell?

I thought about marrying my high school sweetheart, and the much-later-in-life-awareness that we were too young to get married when we did.  Would anybody be interested in this story and the events that led to our eventual divorce; or of the secrets about that period in my life that I have previously been too afraid to face?  From a more contemporary perspective, would I–or even could I–have made different choices, and is there the possibility that my life might have turned out differently?

Suddenly, my life sounded pretty exciting.  I liked what was developing in my mind, and I surmised that others might like it too.  But did I have the courage to write about it?  On that point I was stuck for several years, probably too fearful of facing the truth after all this time.

But several months ago, as I cruised through a period of “writer’s block,” I began to revisit the possibility of finally starting my memoirs.  It took another month or so to actually start writing, but start I did.  I find that it continues to be a work in progress, but my memoirs, “Destination: Unknown: The Journey Home,” is finally in the works.

I haven’t decided whether or not to publish it yet.  Perhaps I will chicken out.  I do plan to share it with my children, my new wife, selected family members, and a few close, personal friends.  I see my memoirs as an attempt to come clean about my life, as honestly and as forthrightly as I can.  And if, in the process, I learn something new about myself, that will be a bonus.

Stay tuned.

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