Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Silencing the Inner Voice

I've been struggling for a while with my memoir. As I planned my chapters and carried out my research, a little voice kept whispering in my ear. "What will your family think?" it asked. "Maybe they won't want to speak to you again," it continued. "It was a long time ago. Why dig up old bones?"

Writing about events that took place more than forty years ago has one big disadvantage: it doesn't take into consideration the fact that people change. The person I knew forty years ago might be far removed from the person they are now. Yesterday's Mr Ogre might be today's Mr Nice, and vice versa.   

"Why write a memoir that has the power to hurt a lot of people?" that voice kept asking. "Just so you can tell your version of the truth?"

That little voice stopped me from writing. It paralyzed me and made me think of a million excuses for not moving ahead.

In the end, I realised there's only one way I can silence that voice.

I'm now working on a novel based on my childhood.   

As for that voice, it's as quiet as quiet can be.