The neat thing about being a memoirist is that life is constantly giving me new material. Every day that I live I gather more experiences, insights that can be woven into a future work. Of course, working as much as I have lately on the book relating to my now-defunct first marriage (during which we were polyamorous, or open, non-exclusive, etc, for the last 2 years), I’ve run into the chief difficulty in writing memoir.
I could call it “the shifting personal perspective,” if I were so inclined.
Basically, my past self invariably has a different view of events than present self (who is the one actually writing the work), so when I’m compiling writings from the past and incorporating them into a larger work, it’s very difficult to make sense of it all – I end up with A and Z and maybe a few stops along the way and have to intuit or struggle to remember the connecting pieces.
This is far more difficult than it sounds. And despite how hard I might struggle with the task, 100% satisfaction with the process is elusive indeed.
For this book, I have a fairly good store of personal writings, completely private Google docs, semi-private journals, chat logs, emails, etc, to reference to help me reconstruct my experience – especially considering the fact that despite a few friends mentioning that I should write a book about the experience of opening my marriage at the same time I lost 150 pounds, I never seriously thought I would and didn’t make any real attempt to chronicle events as they unfolded. Life just left its own trail as I went on my merry way.
Already it’s come to my attention that there are at least 3 more books to be written from experiences and materials that I have in my possession – the one directly following the book about opening my first marriage at the same time I lost 150 pounds will be about the weird and wacky love affair with Skyspook and its interrelationship with my lifelong kinky predisposition. There will also be a book that deals with some of the amazing adventures I’ve had in the kink community and crazy characters within my friend web of kinksters and poly folk combined with issues of sex positivity and consent as well as my experience as a victim of sexual assault. And I’m living the events of the other book that will inevitably need writing: The book about how Skyspook and I are working/will work/will have worked (future perfect, bishes!) out our Master/slave relationship and what all it means to us.
So yeah. A lot of writing to be done. And I’m sure more ideas will crop up in the process of writing these(actually a few have that, though they’re not fully formed in any sense, more vague concepts).
I’ve learned from the experience of writing this book to make sure I write copiously about whatever it is that it’s important to me at the time so I have plenty to work from, to track events and ideas.
The trouble with this, however, lies in drama. I discovered a while back that writing about events regarding friends and heated emotions can provoke controversy. Blogging close to events when your friends can read it, well, it’s one of the most unpleasant occupational hazards I’ve experienced (even when you change or withhold everyone’s names). Invariably, it’s better to let things cool, disguise events, come out with them long after the fact when everyone has some healthy emotional distance – and might not even know that they’re the subject of the piece!
What to do? What to do?
I’ve started to keep a private journal more faithfully. It pains me because it does take away a bit of time and effort from the semi-private (like my friends-only journals on the web) and public writings (like this one), but it seems the best solution.