is this even possible? i find it very therapeutic to write about my mom but live in constant fear she will find out and trust me she won't find the humour in it
Someone recommended "Incontinent on the COntinent" to me, about a daughter's travels with her mom. Worth a read before you write.
I also have several family members, mom included, that I've written about. In a moment of ridiculously bold artistic freedom, I directed both my mother and sister to my blogsite. It didn't take long for me to regret that decision. I realized that they were not bowled over by my literary interpretations of them by the fact that neither one of them commented at all. Nothing. No acknowledgement. Silence.
I got The Freeze Out.
Actually, this was almost worse than having them rage at me. The lack of acknowledgement negated any effort I had put into the writing, really. I felt like my words were invisible.
There really isn't any solution to this issue without sacrificing the truthfulness of your writing, I think. Of course, you can change names and work under the guise of a fiction writer. However, if the story you tell is familiar to others who lived it as well, your cover will be blown anyway.
I think you should stand by your work, defend it. It is part of who you are, and although not everyone is going to be in love with every facet of our personalities, they still exist nonetheless. Let me know how it goes! Good luck! - J.
I've had a blog for six months. My family has ONCE commented. My mother just now signed up for the feed. I learned when I was selling insurance that you can't count on family in your career. That applies to writing as well. And I have resisted the urge to talk about my mom or sister... so far. But oh, it's so tempting! LOL!
Through writing my memoir, I revealed that when I was growing up that my mother was emotionally unavailable to me. I wrote about why this was the case psychologically but hadn't labeled it "emotionally unavailable." I was at a write'rs conference in April speaking with an agent about my mother (as the subject resonated with the agent) and something the agent said triggered my mother's being "emotionally unavailable." I wept, there in the middle of the lobby in front of a full conference room, a big a-ha moment. Respectively, I've been advised by three other literary professionals to go deeper in my writing and I feel the emotionally unavailable aspect of my mother is an example of going deeper. But I know it would kill her to read it, it too would kill my brother too who is devoted to my mother. To work around this, I've been advised to turn my memoir into a novel. Not sure how I feel about that...
Don't live in fear. Either do it without fear and live with the consequences or be respectful and show it to her first, ask her what she thinks, and if it's okay to post it. Then you're covered. If you are in fear of her reaction, she is your silent literary agent/critic anyway, wink wink ;0) I wouldn't take a risk of ruining a relationship over a piece. Or perhaps you can write in generalities and still get the point across. For instance, instead of saying, "I have this problem with my mother. She likes to control me," write, "I have a relationship I'm struggling with. I'm frequently put in a position where I feel like I'm being controlled." You know, make it more PC. It can be done.
Excellent advice, Cindy. I often refrain to "don't live in fear" in my mind. In fact, a great of my memoir writing reflects how I haven't lived in fear. It's made for a good story. I think if I showed my material to my mother, she would indeed agree with it after suffering the shock of seeing it in writing, and my own realization of it. My mother is a huge thinker, but grew up "trained" to keep things to herself. She's also been through a great deal of loss (she lost her only sister while her sister was in childbirth and both her parent's within the one week span of her marriage). Her doctor at the time advised my father to get her pregnant "to occupy her mind." I don't think she's ever really dealt with that loss and that's relates to her being emotionally unavailable while I was growing up.
I have been stuck with my writing over the past couple of months but hoping to get my creative juices flowing now after a weekend of learning Reiki. I'm also in the works of connecting with an excellent editor/coach. I need that objective skill now.
Wow, what a story your mother has! You should write her story for her ;0) I think a lot of our mothers were raised to keep things to themselves. I, however, was raised in the Oprah and talk show generation and spill it all! I find it more therapeutic than detrimental the majority of the time. Holding it in is cancerous, in my opinion.
thanks for the replies and advice. it seems like every part of my writing revolves around my childhood or my relationship with my mom. i must at some point come to terms with that and my poor punctuation skills. i think it is also holds true that you don't always receive support from those closest to you. some of my most treasured words of encouragement have come from complete strangers
I came to the post because of the title ;D.
I write the truth, don't tell my family except my bro about my blog, and don't worry too much about it. I imagine if she or anyone came to the page they might be upset, but truth wins out for me. I don't set out to be hurtful, and my writing is based not on a rant but on reflection. I own my part in the reflection when I write so there is a balance -- even at 4-years-old. Right now, you won't find writing about family on my blog because I revamped it completely and in so doing lost some of that writing; but it will be there again . . . beeeee brave!
Awl... now that post was singular. I, too, stopped in for your title, and byline. Really comedic, and great writing!
thanks so much for the kind words. i blogged again a couple of days ago. my mother is coming for a 5 week visit. wish me luck
I wish you luck, Beverly...laughing as I wish, but truly do hope things go well. Still, pls let me know when that post is up!