On Writing Memoirs

A Facebook post that became way too long,

I suppose this could understandably be called my first REAL, 
bonafide blog post.


Being a writer of memoirs isn’t always easy.

There are truths told that can hurt either yourself, or the person you’re writing about.

However, what stands in the way of making a good writer great, is not writing with honesty and transparency.

What stands in the way is being too weak to face events from your past and not owning up to them, or not embracing what it takes to learn from mistakes in order to progress.

What happened in the past happened. 

The only way to move beyond the hardest memories that leave noticeable stains behind isn’t to sweep the less than favorable aspects of them under the rug.


the fabric is going to bulge, making it hard to cross the room and threatening to trip you up with every single step you make.

The only way to progress is to face what’s under the rug head on.

Pull it all out…

every last item you put under there!

The truth is hard sometimes, but steering clear of it, walking on eggshells because it’s easier than turning the tides and moving forward, is a cop out.

Here is the thing:

Writers can’t be sell outs.

If you’re going to be a writer, write with truth, but be transparent in doing so, even if it’s hard…

even if the truth doesn’t come out in flawless pictures free of erase marks and smudges with paper crinkled around the edges and bearing teeth marks when things come out of the woodwork you wish you could leave hidden in the dark corners where you previously tossed the less-than-perfect things you have done, or the things you have experienced.

Being transparent is the only way to grow. It’s the only way to learn.

And, in my opinion, it’s the only way to write.

There are some readers who won’t be able to handle it, but there are others who are humble enough to stand alongside you and say, “You know, that really did suck. I’m sorry.”


there are those you can stand beside while taking their hand and returning the same sentiment.

Considering all of the imperfect, transparent, yet beautifully written stories I have published about my family – growing up riddled by my father’s mood swings and my mother’s disinterest in us while pursuing her own dreams – never once has there been animosity coming from either my words, or from the person I am writing about.

That’s what I love about my family.

We are real with one another.

We sweep nothing under the rug.

We face problems as they arise and with truth.

We are graceful in approach.

As a result, we don’t build up years of tension until the ropes tying us together inevitably snap from the incredible amount of pressure,

rearing an ugly head with words we regret and heartache we eventually have to move beyond while pieces of us are still intact.

When you notice the fibers of that rope start to fray, THAT’S when you begin to repair things,

not when the damage seems irreversibly done and repairing the severed ends is nearly impossible for everyone.

I was raised to share discussions of love and honesty, accepting and appreciating where I have been, and then learning from mistakes in order to move forward, realizing that people aren’t perfect…

realizing that I will never be perfect…

realizing that family will never be perfect.

Because family is real.

Family doesn’t skim the surface, only gathering the pieces and people in life they find the most desirable while throwing the rest into the waters, hoping they will sink out of sight.

That never happens!

Those things we want to avoid just float on the surface;

eventually the tide brings them back to shore.

Here is the thing:

If you want to write,

Write the truth.

Write it well.

But write it beautifully.

Some will interpret your stories as they are:  simply memoirs,

a telling of a events exactly the way they unfolded.

But others will take it as a lashing,

a series of events that would be easier not to face at all,

even if it’s incredibly unhealthy to ignore.

You see,

I am a writer of memoirs;

therefore, I write truth.

I do so with the knowledge that,
those stories will be interpreted how they will.

My job isn’t to control the reader’s brain, or paint a picture to harm anyone;

it’s simply to write.

The rest is up to the reader.

My job is done.

A memoir is a telling of events.

There is really no other way to go about writing them.

Thank you to all of my readers. You guys rock!

Especially the Executive who, despite hard things that are written, sees the beauty in the transparency of the written word and always has an intelligent response.

And especially my mom who is always my biggest fan, even if I know she bites her fingernails at times before being brought to tears in how a single story has the power to unfold hardship into a beautiful picture of honesty and love, acceptance and forgiveness.

Life is hard. It’s raw. It gets messy and flipped upside down.

Hardships happen within our immediate family and extended families; they happen with friends and neighbors.

Life isn’t perfect. It wasn’t meant to be.

But when we try to make it that way by taking all of the darkest, less-than-favorable things that happen and throwing them into a closet, eventually the stress of what is behind the door will burst through the frame, spilling splintered wood all over the place and leaving a mess behind that no one wants to clean up.

However, someone has to do it;

it simply has to be done.

Where do you even start?

I guess the first step is to breathe deeply and then let it out with a long sigh before starting to pick up every little piece one by one,

examining what you see,

accepting it,

and then moving on.

Love is messy.

Love isn’t always kind.

Sometimes love is hurtful and builds resentment.

Sometimes love leaves behind grudges that are hard to let go of.

At the same time, there is a beauty in accepting that, like life and the people we come across, love will never be perfect.

When we start a discussion built on honesty,

one of transparency and truth,

THAT is when we start to rebuild the structure around us, realizing that, as we start to put the pieces together, even adding in the ones that don’t look so great standing alone, a magnificent and breathtaking picture starts to unfold.

Only THEN can we appreciate what we see before our eyes.

Only THEN can we understand what forgiveness really means and how forgiveness is ultimately what helps us to break free from playing the role of a victim.

No one is a victim.

We are merely evolving through life together, imperfect and overflowing with emotions.

It’s easier to play a victim than it is to face the truth head on.

Doing so takes guts and self-respect.

It takes respect for others.

The way I see it,

life is gorgeous with its imperfections and truths…

ALL of it.

We have a choice:

We can either accept things as they are, or die trying to stuff all of the hardest parts in life into a closet that will inevitably vomit its contents all over the place when we run out of storage space.

I choose the former;

that is what makes me a writer;

that is what keeps me growing as a human being;

that is what keeps life flowing instead of holding me by the ankles,

tethered down in a pile of rocks full of regret within a picture I might rather not face than to try to see the beauty hidden in all of the mistakes I have made along the way.