A small group of writers gathered at the local art gallery several months ago with the intention of writing memoirs. In those early meetings, the subject of whether to fictionalize those memoirs came up often. “Oh, I can’t tell that story. Aunt Mamie would kill me.” Or: “I’ll have to wait until my ex-husband dies.” It’s the best time in human history to be a writer aiming for publication. It’s also the worst time—because everyone else can publish too. Self-publishing tools make it all too easy.
“Who would ever want to read anything I had to say? It’s all too easy to fall into the “Why bother?” trap? There you can have a good wallow in self-doubt, even worse, self-pity.
“It’s all been said. And said better,” you might say. There is that. However, it hasn’t been said by you.
“My life isn’t that interesting.” That’s you judging you. You may not be right.
Then why not write your story, or the part of it that draws you, as fiction? It happened to somebody else, somebody a lot like you of course, but somebody else. The advantage of that is you can become your ideal – or evil self. If fiction you can amp up the action and the drama all you like.
That small group still meets, the 1st and 3rd Tuesday afternoon from 2-4 p.m. at Artworks Community Gallery in Pine Mountain Club. We share our work by email before the group, and read and print out the work sent by the others. There’s a limit of 15 double-spaced pages for each two-week submission unless you make an arrangement with others willing to read more.
One of us is still writing a memoir as a legacy for her children. Others are writing full-length fiction: a novel, a mystery, a historical work. Then, in the time we are together, we give feedback, helpful and encouraging comment to the author. Our intention is to keep this a small, intimate group.
If you’re interested in joining us, please contact Mar Preston at 661-242-8529. The cost is $5 per session as a donation to the Artworks Gallery.