OMP Blog by Michele Potter
Perhaps you’ve heard the saying that everything is autobiographical; that authors cannot help but integrate their views, life experiences, and personality into whatever story they write. I will admit that my personal history has inspired some of my writing. Writing is a way to claim a bit of immortality, so it follows that we inject our personal slant to our stories.
Most of what I write is complete fiction, fantasy stories from my imagination. I have shied away from the memoir idea because my non-celebrity status and relatively scandal-free life would not make for a best seller. However, I recently found that personal writing can enhance creativity and move one past the dreaded writer’s block.
For Christmas, my son and his family gave me a subscription to a site called StoryWorth. Through this site, questions are sent out a couple times per month. The questions are such as: What were your grandparents like? Describe one of your favorite Christmases. How has your life turned out differently than you expected? In answer to each question, I write several paragraphs. At the end of a year, the company binds all the responses into a lovely book to be passed onto the family. My prospective audience is my grandchildren.
From the first, I liked putting together the little pieces and adding old photos. As I wrote, I noticed some remarkable things: My memories grew; while writing about one thing, other, long-forgotten memories bubbled up; I became emotionally involved, often laughing or crying over my keyboard; best of all, after finishing a piece, I felt energized and inspired; I could go back to my “other” writing with a better frame of mind.
If you are doggedly writing late into the night, becoming frustrated, and staring at a blank page, you might consider taking a little time out. Think about something in your life that affected you, your family, or your friends. Write about it, quickly with no editing or stressing. You will find the words come easy. Even if emotional pain was involved in your memory, the act of writing it out is deeply cathartic. Keep your memoir pieces in a file. At some point, you might want to share them. Or if you fear that your memory is fading fast, you could revitalize those cranky brain cells a bit.
Instead of waiting to become famous to write your memoirs, pack away pieces of your life for yourself and possibly your loved ones. Doing so could be another way to achieve immortality.
OMP Admin Note: Michele Potter is a writer and OMP Network member – one of a group of networkers who will be blogging on a regular basis on various causes and issues.
Michele is an incredibly diverse and talented writer who I hope will collect her short stories and make them available on Amazon someday soon. In the meantime, her story PERCEPTIONS is available in the guest author section of the flash fiction anthology BITE SIZE STORIES VOLUME ONE.