Writing Memoir


Writing about yourself ought to be easy, right?

Our first class with Steve Watkins filled me with ideas, and I couldn’t wait to get started. He asked us to turn in 5-7 pages by Sunday night. No problem, I thought.

First, I wrote about a memory I had at age 4 when I cut off all my sister’s hair. A couple of paragraphs in, I stopped abruptly. Nothing left to tell. Next I tried to write about an incident when we were 15 and 17. Many more details came to mind, but I wasn’t sure why I was writing it. The details were there but the reflection was not. I tried to write about my summers in RI, my travels as an Army brat, and my first days alone in Virginia. Nothing.

Finally Friday night around 10pm, I began to journal. And the topic came to me like a Rhode Island beach wave. My dad’s death. This was the one topic I didn’t want to write about. This is not because I didn’t want to share. No, I feel like I’ve written about it so much in poetry and blog posts, I wanted to tackle something new.

But there it was, so I wrote.

I’m looking forward to hearing what Steve has to say about everyone’s work. But I’m already thinking about next week’s piece. Hmmm, anxiety may be showing its ugly face.