Thursday, September 11, 2008

Writing My Life

I'm writing my autobiography.

It all started with a mid-life crisis. A friend of mine suggested I try it since Write a Novel Month is coming up. Then my sister talked about a retreat she went to that had them writing their life story for 4 hours every morning. She's continued adding to it and suggested that I try it.

So I started writing. I started just writing whatever came to mind that was part of a specific 4 year time span. I was doing it in my pocket sized Moleskine that I carry with me everywhere and quickly realized I needed a notebook exclusively for this project. I picked up one of the new extra-large softcover Moleskines, transferred what I had already written and kept going.

I took a look at the Write a Novel Month website and decided that my memory doesn't work on a novel timeline, so I'm just going at my own pace. I've numbered as many pages as will hold the number of words they recommend (50,000) and I'm about 1/6th of the way there. Not that I'm going to make that a hard and fast rule. It's simply for goal purposes.

It's been an amazingly positive experience. I just write what comes to me and when I'm not writing and remember something, I jot it down on a small piece of paper and stick it in the Moleskine for later. I've been reading through some old family letters in order to spark memories as well. I think that in the final rendition, it would be good to include exerpts from the letters with my part of the story. I think it could also be interesting to combine my efforts with my sister's while retaining our individual voices. Then we'll have to comb the family photos for the appropriate images to illustrate our story.

I know that I'll get to parts that hurt, but I'm going to persevere. I think it will have it's own healing from the honesty of writing it down. The mind often supresses the parts that hurt and sugar coat them over time, which really isn't good.

I'm not doing this necessarily for publication, but for me and my family. So much of a family memory is lost because it is no longer passed from generation to generation. In this way, my neices and nephews will have the best heirloom of all.


  1. I am so happy you're doing this, Kris. Writing is so cathartic, which probably explains why I've got so much pent up writing!

    Anyway, keep it up. You've got such a great story to tell, and I wanna hear it!

    Maybe one of our get-togethers should be pure writing....oooohhhhh. Yummy.

  2. btw, this was the title of a story i wrote re: a Haitian artist back in 2003. awwwww....

  3. i see u still use ur vanishing point ftn pen...wish i knew where mine was.

  4. hi, saw a post of your's over on Ravelry (where else?!:-) and checked out your blog.

    Writing this way, is something I've also thought of doing, but it seems to just stay in the thinking stage. What you've written here is inspiring!