Wednesday, March 7, 2012

RTW: We all have secrets

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where the contributors over at YA Highway post a weekly writing- or reading-related question. Then readers answer it on their own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This week's question: NAME THIS LIFE: What would your memoir be called?

I love this topic. When I was in college, I took a class that required me to write a memoir. I know what you're thinking--you were 19, what could you possibly write about that would require a memoir? 
This is the face I imagine you all having: WTF Liz, Srsly?
Oh wait, most of you are YA writers. You get it. Teens go through hard things.

This class was an incredibly healing experience for me (I've always loved the idea of writing as a way to healing). My memoir was only 40 pages double-spaced. I had planned to continue working on it after the class was over.

But it was too hard to write more. 

Someday I hope to go back to it, finish my story, maybe try to find a way for others to find healing through my experiences (in an empathetic way, not at all a "look at me, look at me" sort of way). But this was my first real taste of creative writing (other than poetry). And I fell in love. I couldn't finish the memoir, but I couldn't let myself stop writing either.

I turned to fiction.

Even though I haven't been able to finish the memoir, writing fiction can be incredibly healing, too.

What was the point of all this again? Right, a title. My memoir was/is titled SKELETONS. We all have secrets, but sometimes the only way to heal is to let people know what they are. The first line: "I never expected to end that night on my sister's closet floor."


  1. Do you think you might now prefer to take those experiences and weave them into your fiction? Perhaps use fiction as a way to handle them, as well as help others without it being a "look at me" type of thing?

    1. It's funny. I never intended to include my experiences is fiction, but both of my manuscripts deal with similar themes that my memoir explores. I think I'd like to complete the memoir itself someday, even if only to be a healing experience for myself.

  2. You're right about the cathartic nature of writing. I used to write a lot of personal things when I was in my teens and sharing it helped.

  3. I used to keep an almost-daily blog of my events when I was a teen. I loved telling all the stories of my day. Everything was exciting, and the people were wonderful.
    ...Until people started telling me off for things I'd posted. And people started using the posts against me. I started hating the blog. I closed it down and locked away all the posts.

    I know what you mean when you say it was too hard to write more.

    Your title is fantastic, and the first lines gave me chills. I hope there are less hard things in your life now. (And I want to visit your future cafe and try a pie! :D)

    1. Ha thanks! Once the cafe exists, I'll send you an invitation :) I make some killer pies...

  4. That's a great title for a memoir, especially if it mostly focuses on your teen years. I really don't think you're too young or old to write a memoir, now that I think about it. All of us have a pile of experiences that are funny, sad, or whatever. Some more than others I guess. I say finish it :D

  5. What a great title. i'm on the finish it bandwagon. But you're write that fiction can be a great way to write stuff that hurts but twist it away from your own life enough that you can bear to write it....

  6. AWESOME title, Liz! Oh, and I love the first sentence :)