Some folks assume that writing a memoir or autobiography serves as a catharsis. Not always so.
With the impetus of Nanowrimo, I wrote in earnest, every day for thirty days. My earliest memories took me from perhaps 3 years of age until about 11 or 12 years old. Was it cathartic? Hardly.
There are those folks who write about their experiences to heal themselves, to expose themselves, to shock, stimulate or educate or simply to gain notoriety. My reasons?
Partly, I would like to educate, to show that some children are capable of deep thought, are deeply sensitive and have the potential to become great healers or scientists or anything of their choosing, given the love and guidance required.
Further, looking through the eyes of a child, through that child’s point of view, or thought process gives pause to the question of nature versus nurture. How does a child come through unscathed in the face of adversity? How does another child come through damaged, broken?
I believe that to see the world through my eyes as a child is to learn what that, or any child thinks, how she thinks and what she was capable of. Or not.
Writing the first draft was quite challenging. I resisted editing as well as speaking in adult terms, with my own commentary as an adult. I found it difficult at first to keep within my own challenge to BE the child that resides within me.
The thoughts of a child in any situation are mostly unknown. We can all look AT our childhood experiences. Delving more deeply into the thoughts seemed more elusive. We have to become the child again and so the past and present meld into one.
Children don’t have the language or freedom to expose themselves fully. Living through the experiences again, complete with thoughts, is a rare glimpse into an adult’s mind. Savvy or otherwise, adults wouldn’t have the time and shouldn’t have the inclination to expose themselves and every thought.
Quantum physicists believe that the past, present, and future all exist at once. Though I haven’t fully grasped the concept of the future existing as I write these words – perhaps a cursory look at the idea will bring understanding – certainly I can say that writing from the perspective of the child I was and being in the present, (now past) while doing so, the past and present do exist at once.
Writing a memoir, or, a work from a specific part of one’s life seems more relevant. A work on a whole life is impossible as a whole life would include a death or the end of life. Logically then, no once can write an autobiography as one’s death would have to be included.
I’ve let the first draft simmer for nearly a month. I’m ready to move into a review and rewrite. The teen years are speaking to me and my list of prompts grows every day.
Why did I write? I had to.
Who will read? You. Me. Someone.