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How To Tell Your Family That You’re Writing A Memoir

14 May 2018

From The Literary Hub:

I didn’t intend for it to be a memoir. I swear. It just kept tilting in that direction.

The only scenes that felt real and true were those with my wife and two sons. Still, it took a few years of writing my way in and out of corners and dead ends before I stopped referring to my book as a “history of skateboarding with bits of personal narrative,” before I understood and started calling it what it was: a family memoir, a story about fatherhood and raising boys.

I’m not sure how far along I was before I came clean and told my family that dad’s misshapen skateboarding book had become a book about, well . . . us. The secret grew inside me until I finally admitted to my sons, Sean and Leo, to my wife, Mary, and to myself that the story had evolved, grown more personal, more cathartic for me but more fraught for us all.

When we had “the talk,” my kids and my wife were understanding and generous in ways that I’ll never be able to repay. But coming clean was just the beginning.

The next phase—the hardest and most unsettling period of my 30-plus years as a writer—involved the constant internal debates over what I could or couldn’t say, should or shouldn’t reveal, about the three most important people in my life. That was followed by the awkward and sometimes painful negotiations with my “characters.”

Link to the rest at The Literary Hub


One Comments to “How To Tell Your Family That You’re Writing A Memoir”

  1. “How To Tell Your Family That You’re Writing A Memoir”

    Oh, never do that, laddie! If you do they’ll be suggesting ya put in all those things you’ve been trying so hard to forget!

    (Like that time at the family barbecue when you’d had a bit to drink and said “Watch this!” and it took three firetrucks to put everything out … 😛 )

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