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.

11 comments:

Heartlessgirl said...

its your voice, your experience, your say of what happened. keep on writing. at least for you fans out there, including me, hehe ;) good luck!

Nicholas said...

Yikes! I've been thinking to write one too but have been procastinating for at least 5 years already. A memoir will be an evidence of our life as we go through life's tribulations. It's a legacy of our living. So, please write one, to cement your stake in LIFE.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mary,
Please keep on writing.We always learn from history.I would like to know what 40yrs ago happened to cute Mary.U really inspire me.TQ for writing.Lots of love always.

wawa

Ko Hearts said...

No point denying what the people around you are like forty years ago. What's true is true. And I guess almost everybody knows that people change~ Their behaviour 40 years ago is not a good indicator of their personality now anyways.

The Scribbler said...

Dear Mary,

As much as I'm sure your memoir would have been a great read, I think you made the right decision to write a novel instead.

Like you said, people change... they may not be what they were then. And to dredge up the past, especially if it's something unpleasant or sad, will only hurt others, sometimes even yourself and those around you.

By writing a novel based on your childhood, you can (sort of) satisfy your need to shed some light to certain situations of the past or the truth as you see it, without hurting anyone - the heartache would be too much to bear...

Happy writing your novel! :)

LION GIRL said...

If you are thinking of leaving a legacy behind, with or without a memoir, you have already done so with your blogs. However, to have your life in ink (to me), would complete the whole picture.

What we read now is what you are now. We do not know the you before and how you get to who you are today.

People who crossed path with you were important people, be them of good or bad influences. Writing about them would mark a legacy for them too.

Whatever you decide, I will fully support as I believe you are the best person to know what is best; with truth or cover ups.

Looking forward to your work, whatever they are coz I simply love what you share with us!

Cheers!

Victor Lee said...

Hi Mary,

I managed to stumble onto your blog after reading your column today. Read that you are writing a memoir.

I have recently completed a book on youth spirituality and i know how tough it is to actually write certain things when we are afraid to be honest about our own viewpoints.

In my book, I mention quite a lot about how my parents actually didn't do too well as parents. As the manuscript is ready, I am not too sure if it is right to really mention them.

Anyway, I think if your close ones know you enough, honesty is really the most important thing. You may get a backlash or something; but at least you are honest.

Looking forward to hear more from you.


thanks so much,
Victor

Rifle Range Boy said...

that is the problem with memoirs - you cannot call a spade a spade without offending the spade. Perhaps with time, when the spade is long gone, they won't fight back. But then their offspring and next of kin!... Darn!

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