View Full Version : What Would People Think?

07-25-2003, 10:50 PM
I've often thought about writing my own life story, but I'm afraid of what my friends and family might think. If I were completely honest, some of them would come out looking bad. And then what? I would be disowned, I suppose? It's not my family's nature to forgive or be understanding. Yeesh, my life story would go over like a lead balloon with them. Oh well. Maybe someday I'll write it...on my dead bed. :lol

07-26-2003, 02:46 AM
I know what you mean. I don't want to insult or embarass anyone in my family. Thats why I am going to write my autobiography AFTER I die

07-26-2003, 03:26 AM
I'm writing mine using a pen name and changing everyone else's names . . . and the places . . . and the time . . . heck, the whole setting . . . guess I should just start writing fiction and forget about writing about my life story. :\

07-26-2003, 11:49 AM
Here's my philosophy. Use what you can, if anything, and discard the rest.

Write your story. You may find on the first few passes, that you glaze over details. With practice, and with getting used to seeing those stories in print, your comfort level will increase. At first you may refer to "he" and "she", and in later versions use real names.

This writing is for your eyes only. Protect it in whatever way is comfortable to you. Any time you feel traumatized or saddened, you have permission to stop. Even after one sentence.

I think what some of you are saying is not that you can't write your story, it's that you don't want to publish it. Who says you have to?

Or, write the real version for you. A real book, the whole truth. When you're done, decide to publish it or not. Put it into manuscript format, regardless. Show it to others you trust, or never show it to anyone.

I guarantee this will be some of your best writing, filled with emotion, passion, and gory detail that once again proves truth is stranger than fiction.

Eventually, you may decide to fictionalize scenes from your story, if you happen to write fiction as well. Use those bits for contests, a large work, a scene for your critique group (they'll never know and you get the thrill of saying out loud what you thought you had to be dead go utter. Or publish bits as articles in pertinent publications. You can use a byline.

But don't let any muse, relative, fear or perceived lack of ability ever stop you from writing your story. The truth.

IMHO, all the best fiction writers incorporate their personal lives into their work. Pat Conroy, Wallace Stegner, Hemingway, Patricia Cornwell, Poe, Shelly, Bronte, and H. Clinton. (a little humor there.)

Your story is the best one there is.

07-26-2003, 07:53 PM
This is great advice! I've just been asked to ghostwrite someone else's life story using fictionalized portions, so this will be good practice when I want to do it for myself. What a challenge it's going to be to dig through this person's old journals and her brother's old journals . . . I'm looking foward to it, though, because those are treasures to me. ;)

Thank you again for such wonderful encouragement -- anyone reading this thread will benefit!


07-27-2003, 10:25 PM
Heh... Problem is, I can't write anything without my parents finding it. I tried keeping a diary once. Had a lock and everything. Hid it in a drawer to start off. Parents found it. Moved it under my bed. Parents found it. Hid it in the closet. Parents found it. Hid it in the basement. Parents found it. Hid it in a locked trunk in the attic. Parents found it. Burried it outside. Got ruined. That's about the extent of my life story writing experience.

08-02-2003, 11:20 PM
You could write it on computer in a password protected file.

or write it in e-mail, where your account is password protected.

You've probably considered this.

I hope you can teach your parents to respect your privacy. I had a brother who used to read my diaries. It took me a long time to get over that feeling that someone would read my personal thoughts. All I can say is that for the really bad stuff (childhood abuse) I've had to write down I use a computer. Though getting on that page was so freeing that now I don't give a rip who sees or knows.

Sara Tenaci
08-29-2003, 08:06 PM

I must say, it is a bit touchy to reveal events that have taken place in your life. Especially when you are a person that likes to keep things to themselves and then suddenly the whole world knows what is going on in your world.

I wrote and published "That's Another Cup of Coffee" One Woman's Inspirational Journey of Courage and Hope...

Try to get a copy if you can or go to my webpage: www.thatsanothercupofcoffee.com It is loaded with things that we all usually want to keep hidden.

Sometimes you just have to do what is in your heart and what you think is right. We can't go through life worrying about what people think about our life's, as everyone knows - most people have skeletons hangning in their family closests...


10-07-2003, 04:43 AM
You know..it's your feeling, Carrie! You should write what you feel like...hey for all you know, it may help your parents to realize what you think/feel...From what I read on the site you had on your fanart site, I know how you feel but my parents never took a gun to my boyfriend. That's just wrong of them and I feel sorry for you, girl.

*hugs her..Poor girl...I have problems with my mom too, but she's starting to finally let go and let me be an adult now. She used to ask me where I was going, who was gonna be there, and how long I'd be gone, etc. and I felt like a little 2 year old!
I agree w/what Jenn said...change the names or whatnot this way maybe they wont figure out who you're talking about..but that still doesn't give your parents the right to snoop around in your room, even if they don't trust you..they need to get over it!
Everyone needs to be able to express themselves and if this is how you feel you need to/or do best..then do it! Don't worry what everyone else says!
Well...hope this helps some...I just hope that somehow you can get your parents to I can't even think of the words but hopefully you know what I mean..get off your back about all that crap! Good luck *gives her a huge hug again..ttyl girl!

01-26-2004, 11:13 PM
Thanks guys. :)

Kyratwl, I was a little surprised to see you here! :lol Welcome! *Hugs*

I think what I'm gonna do is rewrite my life story as fiction and change everything that can afford to be changed--names, ages (to an extent), hair & eye colors, certain unimportant physical traits, etc. I would feel safer that way; no one would be able to prove that a certain character represented them or anyone else (at least not in a court of law :lol ).

The thing about my life story is, it's gonna be difficult to write out the emotions, the tension, the anger, the hate...not just because it would bring back memories, but because those feelings were so real and intense it's gonna be hard to do them justice with words.

I got pregnant, got engaged, got pregnant a second time, got dumped, was abandoned by friends, abused by parents, mind-raped many times over, failed at everything, fought my way tooth and nail toward every success I ever came close to achieving, forced to leave home... Come to think of it, my life story is still unfolding. What would be the point of writing it now? Then again, it's not good to put it off too long. Maybe I'll just slap a made-up ending onto the story and try to have it written before my 30th birthday. :\

luckky one
10-22-2004, 02:36 AM
Come to think of it, my life story is still unfolding. What would be the point of writing it now?

I know that's what I always come to whenever I think of writing my "life story." When you write a story, you need a beginning, a middle, and an end. Well, if I'm still alive, than there is no end.

I think I would rather just write about my interactions with this world and people along the way.

If anyone would want to compile it all together in a story of my life, whatever. I won't be reading it.

btw, poetrywriter1, that sounds like a hella cool project you got there.

03-07-2005, 09:35 AM
Isn't all fiction derived in part from our personal experiences? I know mine is. There are some things I've written and have out there that I certainly wouldn't direct family members to read. But you know what? It's MY story, it's my life, and in the end, that's all that matters.
A wise person once told me that if you're doing something you would be embarrased to have told to the world, well, you probably shouldn't be doing it, and that's my philosophy about writing my life experiences. Little hard to live up to that one in day to day life!

07-20-2005, 03:18 AM
Find a school library where you can save onto a floppy disc.

As far as the issue of writing your story without blasting others, I think that is really cool that you care. It's a major problem with many of us who had less than perfect parents. We want to tell our story without flaying everyone around us openly in public court.

08-29-2005, 08:40 AM
A wise person once told me that if you're doing something you would be embarrased to have told to the world, well, you probably shouldn't be doing it, and that's my philosophy about writing my life experiences. Little hard to live up to that one in day to day life!

Not to attempt to take away from anybody's wisdom, but I disagree...

I think that sometimes when we may be doing something very "right" the world view of it may be wrong or even distorted and that we must be careful about living our lives and making decisions based on what the world thinks, believes and/or perceives...

Regarding writing a memoir and being concerned about other's feeling, views.

I think, at some point, in memoir writing, we must resolve to let the pieces fall where they may. I'm not saying we should put others on blast and throw all caring and consideration of others out the window...

We can change names and even dates or places, if the issue is severe...

or just keep our secrets, secrets and not write the memoir

08-29-2005, 06:54 PM
I think what some of you are saying is not that you can't write your story, it's that you don't want to publish it. Who says you have to?

Great point. Implicating other people is such a messy thing. One problem I had and still have, was realizing I only saw things from "my" perspective. I had self doubt, wondering if I really had a right to feel as bad as I did during the darkest times of my life. "Was it really so bad, or am I exagerating things, blowing them up in my mind?"

But where do you go for validation? I had memories from such a young age, I wanted someone to say, "Yep, that's how it happened!"

Another thing is "People change". When I look at most people who were a part of the chaos of my childhood, they were in chaos too. It's like someone stamps you your memory with a brand when you are three, or twelve, or fifteen. Those events were things that happened in a context, such as a father losing a job, a mother having a breakdown. And now, they aren't the same person. Sometimes they've grown too, and don't even remember how they wounded you.

So, it's never as simple as you and a bunch of bad guys. It's more like a house full of wounded people wounding each other during what was an impossible time for them all.

Yet, as far as telling my story, I am taking a snapshot of life, including their lives, pictures that may wind up defining their life from now until eternity. If you write a book about someone, that will stick in people's memories as how they were, even if they are somebody else now.

I'm not suggesting anyone else wrestle with these kinds of thoughts, but they have always been in my mind. I seriously doubt I will ever write my comprehensive life's story, although I wrote some of it here in annonymity.

However, I think I will refer back to bits and pieces at times, because I can always frame them contextually, and in doing so, say that periods of my life were a trainwreck without making others look like monsters.

01-18-2006, 07:13 AM
i am currently working on my own story and I am having the same fears. I think what i have to do it write it through all the way completley non censored and then go back and fine tune it for other eyes.