Last year saw me read memoir/essays.
This is a genre that I have never read much before. I was strictly a fiction only girl. My 2020 goal was to expand the genres that I read.
Mission accomplished. For all those who constantly ask me what my “good” thing about the pandemic was- the answer would be “I read more.” Some people would not think that was a good thing though-
I recently read “Southern Lady Code” by Helen Ellis. For the most part, I enjoyed this memoir/essay collection. The writer has a breezy way of writing that draws you into her stories. She is funny and quite clever.
That’s the good thing.
The not so good thing is some of her content.
Are there stories that should not be told?
She mentions a story about her Father- I will say this story (it’s not incest or anything like that) shows questionable judgement.
But is this story hers to tell?
I get that ideas can’t be copyrighted. I get that if ten people witness something, they all get to comment on it: after all, it is their story.
In writing, is there a time when you should hold back?
As a blogger I often write about whatever odd thoughts come to my head. As Sheree pointed out last week, I am totally capable of overthinking any subject- even a TV show.
But should I be putting all these thoughts out into the world?
What thoughts should be public and which should be private?
How about when I share personal tales- the stories that have shaped me as the person that I am.
Should I be writing them for all the world to see?
For all the world to judge me on?
Because, let’s face it: people will judge everything that you do. For every person that gives you a thumbs up, there’s at least one shaking their head in dismay.
Does telling your story, the cringey ones, make you a narcissist? An exhibitionist’? Is it an excuse to put yourself in the center?
Or does telling your story set you free?
Here’s a quip: I grew up in a house where we weren’t supposed to say things out loud. To this day my Mother will tell me something and she’ll say “Don’t tell Husband.”
This explains some stuff about me, doesn’t it?
When I blog, I often wonder if I am revealing too much about myself. And I sometimes wonder if I’m not revealing enough.
I do know that when I write something about my past, something painful, I do exhale. I said it and nothing bad happened to me…
But then there’s the exposure thing again…
I can’t help but wonder what people will think…
Was my Mother right? Should we close ourselves off to the world? Or does she have any of the wisdom that she claims to possess?
I know I’ve thrown out a bunch of thinking questions- but here’s the real question:
On a scale of 1-10, how much should we care about what others think of us?
On that same scale, how much of ourselves should we reveal?
Do you reveal yourself when you write? How much do you reveal to your friends? Your family? Your partner?
Are there stories that you shouldn’t tell?