Just Write . . .

I read the introduction to the “write your memoir in thirty days” book. Did you know there were different categories for memoirs? The Disaster, The Tell-All, The Coming of Age, The Romance, The Travelogue, even one about your pet or your illness. If I had to pick just one category, I vacillate between The Romance and The Disaster. Most people think being an actress is so romantic, but I am here to tell you my personal journey was mostly a disaster with a couple cherries on top. The first chapter of the book asks you to distill your life “theme” into two or three sentences. Ugh! Writing is hard. I’m trying this three page technique in a notebook, then transferring it to the blog. It’s only my second day, and I’m ready to quit. I guess that’s why I never get to finishing…ahem, starting my memoir.

I have all kinds of excuses, like I don’t know how. So now I have a book on how, and I’m still stalling. Who wants to do something so much, but then avoids it? I guess me. Writing without worrying about editing as I go or thinking seems harder than I thought it would be. If I can’t think of anything to write, I’m supposed to keep writing: I don’t know what to write. I don’t know what to write. I don’t know what to write. Until I think of something else to write. So now, I’m thinking how boring my readers will think I am. But I’m just doing the work here, people.

Oh boy, now I’m talking to my invisible audience. Nothing new, I live alone, so I often talk out loud to myself, the cats and even the TV. I love my TV. My father bought one of the first black and white TVs in our neighborhood. I couldn’t wait to brag to the kids who hung out on the playground next to our house. I suppose they thought I was a snob, but I was proud of my father for being on the cutting edge. My brothers and I would sit in front of that small box every day after school transported to other worlds. To have the world of moving pictures right in the center of our lives seemed like such a privilege.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved going to the movies on Saturdays. My brothers would walk me the couple blocks to the theater on Main Street. They met friends, and I sat in the front row of the balcony by myself. I liked seeing the story from that vantage point. I could pan the screen and absorb every set piece, every gesture of the actors and actresses and hear the clack of the projector as the film rolled out the story and spectacle of far away worlds.

If I had to write my life in two to three sentences, here’s what I’d write:

I liked being alone, sometimes I was lonely, but I escaped loneliness by transporting myself into other people’s stories. Sometimes I absorbed the life of another person so much that I lost myself. When I lost myself, I always found a way to find myself again.

That’s enough for today.


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