So sometimes this blog makes people uncomfortable or even upset. It can be upsetting for me to write, but I think there is value in sharing my life story, all of that story, with the world. I decided long ago if I was going to do this I was going to do it right. I’ve done 718 posts, for 6 years and managed to walk the line most of the time but I knew it would happen eventually.
I remember hearing Haven Kimmel speak in Provo last year and I asked her if she regretted writing her very personal book ‘A Girl Named Zippy. She kind of surprised me by saying that if she could do it all over again she wouldn’t do a memoir and that family members and members of her community do not speak to her any more. This especially surprised me because I was so moved by her story, so grateful for its existence. She did write flawed characters, especially her mother who is bipolar and father who is lazy with a heart of gold.
I’m grateful that she shared her story. I hope that people feel that way about my story even if I do ruffle a few feathers from time to time. I try my best to keep it as just my story but I don’t live in a vacuum, so sometimes aliases and fudgey details are required to keep the peace. What makes it all worth it is comments like this:
“I needed to read this today! Thanks for posting, sometimes I feel like the only women dealing with this. You rock!”
I know that if I ever write a book I will tick a lot of people off, even a soft, seemingly fluffy book. I apologize in advance. I am not talented enough to create worlds of fantasy, far removed from every day life. Those stories are not helpful to me, never have been. Even if it is a silly romance novel I need to be able to use a story to make my life better. That takes a lot of courage but isn’t the best writing the most courageous?
I hope if I do write a book for real someone will be able to say ‘I needed to read this today’. Writing is an inherently bold occupation and if you aren’t willing to take a few stripes along with the praise you aren’t saying anything important. And I would certainly rather be real than be safe. That’s my theory at least.
To all the other nanowrimo writers- no regrets, write you heart and have a great time. I can’t wait!
13 thoughts on “Memoirs of a Utah Girl”
Keep up the good work, and NaNo on my friend 🙂
thanks so much! I wish I could work on it today. 2 more days!
” if I ever write a book I will tick a lot of people off.” I’ll be ticked off if you don’t write it.
Thanks! That means a lot to me. I can’t wait for the day when we can exchange books.
Do you know you are now my #1 Commenter? Thanks friend. You excited for nanowrimo? I am!
Feeling a little anxious to start seeing a few plot holes begin to fill in and get a bit more shallow, in the current project. But because those holes are all about the size of the Grand Canyon, 50K words are likely to leave only a trace, like the tips of boulders visible amid the rapids. That’s what I get for writing epics.
That would be intimidating! Fantasy worlds are so overwhelming for me to even think of writing. I was surprised how much fun it was last year. Just enjoy it. I’m excited to see what you come up with. It’s going to be my first time writing pure fiction so that makes me nervous. I’ve always written based on my life or academic writing.
#1 Commenter? Hm. Can’t say that I did. Well, you’re a good conversationalist, so whenever I pass this way, that makes it easy to draw up a tall stool, rest an elbow and drown a few sorrows, while we await the feast that’s being prepared (D&C 58:2-8).
I know. I have a lot more readers than commentors but grateful for both. You are a good conversationalist too. I normally am not so down. Been a rough couple of months but learned a lot. Looking forward to nanowrimo and the holidays. Live and learn. :). Thanks for taking up a stool and chatting (letting me vent)
Most of the time I’ve greatly enjoyed writing my novels, although it’s a challenge to find a civilized way to write about uncivilized behavior, and there were occasions when I looked at what I’d written in the first book and thought, “This is dreck!” But then I thought about the drivel that passes for “highly praised” traditionally published fiction, nowadays, and I decided that I could and would become The Best Bad Writer in the West. People will either love it, or they’ll hate it, but as you’ve said: no regrets.
Maybe we should combine your gritty book with my fluffy romance and we’d get the perfect story? For nanowrimo are you starting a new set of characters or continuing on a series?
Combining fluffy with gritty is what happened in “Irish Firebrands,” which was as much of a surprise to me, as the author, as it’s been to other readers. So now that I’ve had that experience, I can say with confidence, “Anything’s possible!”
I’m not writing a series, per se (at least, not in the sense that seems to be all the rage), but the new book jumps back a century from “Irish Firebrands” and deals with the adventures of one of the main character’s grandparents.
I can’t wait to read it.