We had quite a lively chat Wednesday night. Thank you to everyone who joined. For those of you who couldn't make it, here's what you missed:
1) We talked A LOT about memoir. Some worry about not having a compelling enough story to tell. Others say it's difficult to be emotionally vulnerable - and to find the right words to capture the moment. Making the experience be as important to the reader as it was to the writer is another challenge. Others say getting it out, all those memories, no matter how painful they might be, is a relief. Also, it's tough for some of us to remember details about our past. Two suggested books to help with memoir were Natalie Goldberg's "Old Friend from Far Away" and "Writing Life Stories" by Bill Roorbach.
2) There was much discussion on boundaries when writing personal or memoir posts on our blogs. Respect for the feelings of family members seemed to be the No. 1 reason for setting limits on what is written. Also, there's concern on how much to reveal, to "go there." It's tough for many of us to tell the whole truth in that venue.
3) Not all of us have had what we would consider "memoir-worthy" lives. Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary is a huge challenge. Anne Lamott is a master at it. Also, her book Bird by Bird is a must-read on writing.
4) The posts that stuck with readers from this week's memoir linkup were the ones that made us feel. The ones that took us to the moment with them.
5) It was asked whether it's tougher to be funny or poignant. We were split, though it was opined the poignant posts seem to elicit more reaction from readers. Some think it's easier to be funny, to hide behind it, then to reveal our inner selves. Poignant can be scary. Funny is tough because not all humor translates well into print, and there's the fear that it's not actually THAT funny.
6) Is it easier to put emotion into a fictional character than when writing non-fiction? Some of us say yes, because it is easier than telling the truth about oneself. There is the also fear readers will think the writer is projecting.
7) A lot of us were inspired by this week's fiction/non-fiction prompt. This should be a great linkup Friday. We're excited to see what you come up with!