A Private Mist
The Memoir-Writing Process:
Why is memoir writing so trying…and rewarding?
Now a few words as to the memoir-writing process. Writing the memoir is not a matter of riding in a boat, sucking candies and fruits. As you pole along, sometimes the waters are placid and calm. More often they are a torrent.
There is regular writing, and then there is the memoir. Both are treacherous. Orwell wrote, “Writing is a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a bout of some painful illness.” Memoir-writing is that, or perhaps a more specific diagnosis would be: a severe attack of homesickness.
Red Smith commented, “Writing is easy. All you do is sit down at the typewriter and open a vein.” Similarly, memoir-writing just involves the simple act of digging into an old scar and then poking around in the red, tender flesh.
In the next nine weekly posts, I will consider the perils, joys, and other features of the memoir-writing process.