Sometimes writing makes me want to die. Not exactly, not literally, it’s just that sometimes a project I am working on feels like it’s killing me. Whether it be a deadline I’m too close to or an editing project I should’ve refrained from accepting, it can be overwhelming. This whole, I’m gonna write books and articles and whatever else requires the alphabet lifestyle can be draining.
Right now I’m writing my second novel which is entirely different from my first. I went from fiction about fame to nonfiction about family. I survived the outlining stage and it’s various setbacks. Beginning with free verse journaling to the Snowflake Method and then settling with notecards. This book has been in the storm of my brain for awhile and it’s taken months for the thunder and rain to cease so that I could actually find my focus and start writing.
It’s not easy and it is. It’s easy because all the information is there, I just need to tweak it enough to protect the guilty but other than that there’s no extensive fabrication of character arcs and plot lines like I had to do in my fictitious novel. It’s all there. It all really happened. I just have to write it down. That’s where the hard part comes in. It’s a true story so that means it’s not a perfect story. It’s not always a pretty story because it’s an honest story and sometimes the truth can hurt.
The cast of characters that made up the past few years of my life are all guilty of something and I too would be convicted if on trial for participating in the events that took place. I’m writing it down to process. I think there should be purpose in my pain. I did not suffer and sin so others could do the same, if anything I hope that people can learn from my mistakes. So I’m crafting pages and pages of my experiences for others to read, love and learn from. Writing it means reliving it and not just the pretty parts. Sometimes, on days like today for example, I’ll finish a scene and breakdown the instant I pen the last few words. My mind is a detailed, bright, blaring movie screen and once something is recorded it’s nearly impossible to erase. This is fantastic because it makes for powerful storytelling but this is also tragic because when it’s painful, it’s torturous. My way of thinking doesn’t just involve reflection, my relentless thoughts mean reliving on repeat.
Maybe that’s how my memoir will go. I will instinctively hit my mental replay button, my hand will record what I see, hear, taste, smell and touch as if it happened yesterday and then I will break. When necessary I will breakdown, I will cry profusely despite how much I despise weeping. When it feels as though I’m caving in on myself I will allow myself to collapse under the weight of the heaviest memories. I will relive, I will write, I will collapse and I will weep. Then I will begin again. I’ll keep writing because it’s over now, the gorgeous chaos has ended and now I am free. There will be bad days but the worst of them are behind me.
It alright, it’s okay. It was real and it was awful but it’s not agony anymore. It’s time to do as T.S. Elliot said and turn blood into ink. On days like today when I have to write the horrible parts of the story it’s okay to push play because “every nightmare has a beginning and every bad day has an end.” Someone out there is going to need this book. Someone out there is going to treasure this tale of truth. My mess could be someone else’s message and for that I can endure. For the sake of helping others I can willingly suffer for a short while compared to lifetime of peace the stories of my life may provide a soul or two. When I must weep through some of my writing I’ll consider it an honor. Writing this memoir will be a visceral victory. Stay posted, follow me, the real tragedy would be missing the chance to read it in its entirety.