A friend e-mailed me recently to ask if my memoir is done.
My memoir is done. I don’t mean done as in ready to publish. I mean done, as in finished and safely tucked away. It served its purpose by bringing me full circle and allowing me to exorcise the demons of the past. I looked them in the eye, came to terms with our unresolved issues, and let them go.
My life wasn’t extraordinary. Millions of people went through the turmoil of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. They indulged in sex, drugs and rock and roll. Millions of people had cancer. Millions of people went back to school, had several careers, moved across country and changed their lives completely. Maybe none of them experienced things the way I did, but my life wasn’t extraordinary.
When you start with a premise that isn’t extraordinary, the writing MUST be. My writing was good, but I couldn’t make my story extraordinary. To do that would require trashing my family and throwing my life open to the scrutiny of friends and acquaintances. Neither of those appeals to me.
No matter how difficult my past relationships were or still are, throwing them under the bus doesn’t solve anything. Exposing my version of their flaws would reopen old wounds and embarrass them. Nothing I said to bring closure to the issues would stop the pain and anger they would feel from reading my truth. No amount of praise or explanations from me would dull the pain.
My family and friends aren’t perfect – not even close – but they aren’t monsters. They deserve the opportunity to live the rest of their lives in peace – far away from me. We have a truce. We have limited but polite contact and we all do our own thing. Occasionally we see each other for brief periods then run to our respective homes and de-stress.
I have a happy life now – including great friends, a good job, financial security, mostly good health and the world’s sweetest dog. I don’t want to jeopardize that by publishing my memoir. Any money, or notoriety received wouldn’t be worth it. The price is too high.
I’m slowly working on a cozy mystery and having a wonderful time developing the story and characters.
And my memoir is done.