About Me

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Hello! I'm a writer from central New York who has bipolar disorder. Among other topics, I write about mental illness and writing. I have short stories published in Lynx Eye, Lost Coast Review, The Outrider Review, Sliver of Stone Magazine, The Mondegreen, The Linnet's Wings, Cobalt Review, Breath & Shadow, The Round Up, Postscripts to Darkness, and several other journals. I have essays about mental illness in The Ram Boutique and Amygdala Literary Magazine, and an essay in Parts Unbound: Narratives of Mental Illness & Health, a book that was published by Lime Hawk Literary Arts Collective. In December of 2016, The Mondegreen nominated my story "Santa Lucia" for a Pushcart Prize. I've written a novel entitled Purple Loosestrife and a novel entitled Hoping It Might Be So, both of which I am submitting to agents and publishers. I'm working on a novel called Dark and Bright as well as a book called Violets Are Blue: Essays About My Bipolar Life. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Buffalo and an M.A. in English from SUNY College at Brockport. I hope you enjoy your visit to my blog!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Writing a Memoir?

As you may know from reading this blog, I've been at work on a memoir about my experiences with bipolar disorder. I've even given it a tentative title: Violets Are Blue: A Memoir of My Bipolar Life. I've written about seven "chapters", which have really come out more as individual essays. I've jumped around when writing these--I have a chapter about my childhood, a couple about college, a few about my adult life--however, nothing is in order. And there's a lot I've skipped, saying to myself, "I'll get to it later."

But the truth is, I don't know that I want to "get to it later". There are experiences and periods of time that I want to write about--that I yearn, burn, and ache to write about. But there are other experiences I would like to put in the background of my life and not revisit in my writing.

These experiences center around my first marriage. I don't want to write about my ex-husband and that relationship. I mean, I emphatically don't want to write about these things. Is it because it's painful to revisit this time? Yes. But it's more than that. I don't want to give him and that relationship my time and effort. Now one may say that it might be cathartic to write about these things. But I don't agree with that in this instance. I've had the catharsis, and that was leaving my ex-husband and striking out on my own with my son. One may also say that it might be therapeutic, but I get plenty of therapy with my doctor. I don't necessarily need to seek it in my writing when it comes to these topics.

I had a therapist before the doctor I have now who insisted that there would be a void in my life that my ex-husband used to fill. I said, "No, there won't be." She also insisted that I was sad about the ending of the marriage. I said, "No, I'm not." And it was all true. I couldn't have been happier to get out of the marriage and away from my ex-husband. Perhaps this explains a bit about why I don't want to give him and the relationship my time and effort. There are more important and relevant things to write about.

So what I'm thinking is that perhaps this won't be a memoir at all, but rather a collection of essays. Violets Are Blue: Essays About My Bipolar Life. I'd have more freedom to write about what I want to write about and not worry about telling my whole entire story from childhood to now. I could skip parts and perhaps only refer to them when necessary. I'd like to see how this might work.

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