View Full Version : memoir/ personal therapy.

dreams in words
11-01-2007, 09:37 PM
I started a memoir years ago. I could never publish it! It's not because of embarassment to myself but that my family would be utterly hurt by the information in it! I am a daddy's girl. I could never bear for him to read, after all these years, what I have denied to let him know in full detail. You know what I mean. Every now and then I will return to working on it. Untill I married my hubby I held myself in a very dark place, not letting go of the past, It defined me. My hubby saved me from that. However whenever I am going thru a particularly bad time. I will return to the memoir. I never read what I had wrote before. It's too dark. I guess I kinda use it as a journal of sorts, Personal therapy.

11-02-2007, 01:38 AM
Well, this is the terrific things about life story writing - there are a million reasons to do it, and they are all good.

I believe the Twelve Step program even suggests burning it when you're done. Like those Buddhist mandalas that are created from colored sand, and then swept away with a broom.


dreams in words
11-02-2007, 02:33 AM
mandalas are sooooo amazing to me! months and months of work, the detail in them and what they are supposta depict, Simply amazing.

11-02-2007, 02:56 AM
I've kept several journals off and on during my life. But I would never entertain publishing them. Personally, I think journals should be done for therapy, but not memoirs. A memoir that someone wrote for their own therapy I think would be difficult for me to read.

I'm writing a memoir presently, and am consulting my journals from several years ago to get my chronology of events correct, and to remember some personal insights as they occurred, but this memoir is a positive thing. It's a way for me to communicate a "gap" period in my kids' lives, to explain what was going on with me in particular, and to show how my experience was, in the end, a positive experience. I'm doing this so that maybe they can learn what I only learned the hard way.

I'm also writing this without getting into revealing the details of some issues for the world to read; those I may choose to share with my children privately as adults, but I need to respect the privacy of family members on certain sensitive subjects.

11-02-2007, 03:09 AM
I'm writing a memoir presently, and am consulting my journals from that time to get my chronology of events correct, and to remember some personal insights as they occurred, but this memoir is a positive thing.

Pat, I had to explain this to myself just last night. My journal writing led me to my memoir. Last night I was looking over past entries to freshen my memory and forgot how angry I'd been. However, as much as I think those emotions are important, they aren't the key part of my memoir and will have to stay in my drawer. It's not worth hurting the other family members involved, especially since I've moved past it.

11-02-2007, 12:49 PM
Could you publish it under a pseudonym?

11-02-2007, 02:33 PM
I wrote my own life story around five years ago. I done it mostly for myself, as personal therapy... it's much cheaper than seeing a psychologist, right :D
I don't think I would want to publish it as such though. Even though I've had an interesting life in parts, I don't think anyone else, other than friends of family would want to read it, unless I was famous, of course.
But I do get some brilliant ideas from it to work into my fiction and embellish around the facts. I like writing from what I know and in some parts, I've led the life that someone like Lynda La Plante has to send researchers out to do for her stories.


11-02-2007, 10:05 PM
Could you publish it under a pseudonym?

Is that for the OP?

11-11-2007, 08:18 PM
(Sorry for being so late to this thread.)

For me, the difference between journaling and writing a memoir is that when you journal, the writing controls me--I'm not thinking much about what I'm saying except to get whatever it is outside. Sort of like (sorry, again) a mental vomiting. The whole cathartic thing.

With writing the memoir, I control what goes onto the page and where it goes, or if something is said, at all. The writing doesn't control me.

Memoir needs to have some sort of order and design built into it--which is where the craft of actually writing comes in. I'm like Pat--I have some journals that can help me to remember what was going on and where I was during certain parts of my life, and I might even put excerpts of that in my memoir. But that's the difference and the process, for me.

11-11-2007, 10:04 PM
Is that for the OP?