Memoirs are the backstairs of history.
When it comes to writing the truth about our lives, we often face what is, I believe, a commonly shared struggle.
We want to write – we need to write, and we know it, although some of us may not be sure why – but every time we sit down to confront this need, we find ourselves in a desperate struggle: a struggle with our inner critic, a struggle with fear, a struggle with doubt. All of these unseen evils come with one purpose: to keep us from writing.
You see, silence can be a double-edged sword. There is a time to speak, and a time to let silence be the teacher. Silence can be a mark of maturity; it can also be a mark of quiet suffering.
What it should not be is a surrender to fear.
Fear will keep us cowed down and quiet. Fear will keep us from what proves to be an incredibly healing and triumphant experience: telling our stories.
Telling your story doesn’t happen through memoir-writing alone. It can be the memories we relate in our journals, the letters we write to our loved ones, the stories we share with trusted friends and family.
They don’t always have to be broadcast to the world, but telling them keeps them from dying with us.
However we tell our stories, it’s important that we realize that each of us have an important one to tell. They are important because they are entirely unique and different from everyone else’s. Circumstances may appear similar, but setting, personality, perception, and emotion will always differ. Finding the right method of telling our stories is yet another defining factor.
Each of us is a book waiting to be written, and that book, if written, results in a person explained.
Thomas M. Cirignano
The longer I write, the more I express what I have to say, the easier it is for me to find my voice. The more I realize that the words I have to say carry weight and meaning and worth, the more willing I am to speak them. It’s through writing that I find my voice.
Don’t let fear of being less keep you from owning your story. It’s yours. Your experiences, your memories, your past. No one else can tell it as you can.
And remember this: the simple act of writing is an act of defiance against the crippling power of fear; overcoming fear can be as simple as not believing the lies we tell ourselves (or the lies others tell us).
Writing is a struggle against silence. It’s also a triumph over fear.
What keeps you from telling your story?