Reason #2 Why Folks Don’t Write

There are many reasons why folks don’t write. Lack of talent isn’t one of them. Memory is.

Both fiction and nonfiction tap memory and memory is a squirrely thing. Your memory is your truth in the sense that it’s infallible. It belongs to you and others may question it but they don’t own it.

Here is where it gets tricky. You do NOT own your history. Your HISTORY is shared. You don’t have sole proprietorship over it in the sense that others were there, too.

Here is where it gets very tricky. When you write anything (memoir, novel, travel feature, news story to name a few) your memory shadows you, colors the past, influences your word choices. And this is good but here is the “BUT” that every writer learns about sometime: Others who shared the same history that spawned your memory will react when your memory is different than their own.

It’s reaction that can stop folks from writing because reaction is unpredictable. It can be negative, very negative.  So here’s one tip: Write carefully and with integrity AND don’t expect those who share your history to like your writing. It they do, super-duper. If they don’t, alas.
Honor their right to have their own memory.

About Mrs. Fitz

Hello! I'm Michele Fitzpatrick, a Chicago writer. Like our town, a work in progress. As a journalist, teacher and writing coach I think all of us live our stories and sharing them creates moments that remind us we're connected. And that is enough.
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