Upon hearing me talk about my life story, multiple people have told me that I could write a book about it. Despite having only spent 23 years on this rock hurtling through space, I do think I’ve seen more astonishing sights and places than a lot of people. Thus, I have no excuse to complain that I have nothing to write about. Maybe I can’t come up with earth-shattering philosophical insights, but I can share the truth about my experiences and what I’ve learned, and I think that’s valuable.
Right now I’m reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. She advises aspiring writers to start by writing about their childhood memories. “Anyone who survived childhood has enough material to write for the rest of his or her life”—even if it was grim and horrible. What matters is that you capture the truth of it, using colorful details and feelings that make it real for your audience. She recommends starting with the strongest, most specific memories and seeing where they lead you.
This advice echoes some helpful feedback I got via my Ask Me page a few days ago, encouraging me to share more about my personal experiences instead of attempting to wax eloquent on abstract subjects.
So I’m going to start flipping through the files to see which shadows from my past I want to shed a light on and incorporate those into my future posts.