On writing a memoir
Writing is always a therapeutic exercise for me.Once I was going through a personal issue and I used to call out to the Universe to help solve it. It was like releasing the pressure of a cooker , the moment I articulated my request .
In a lifetime of a fifty years there are lots of memories that flit in my mind. Some pleasant and some not. Writing a memoir only about pleasant things would be fun, interesting and uplifting. Writing a memoir of bad memories is not a very good idea.
Unfortunately a memoir of pleasant happenings won’t meet with commercial success because happy times aren’t good news. Only conflicts hold a reader’s attention. People love reading about how others solve their problems .
Consider these two scenarios for a memoir in a moment –
The blue umbrella
One bright summer day I decided to shop for a blue umbrella. Within minutes , I got into a bus and was at the swankiest Mall in town. I spotted just the umbrella I wanted, the perfect shade of blue and one that folded easily. I was thrilled! I paid for it and walked out happy, licking the ice cream cone I treated myself to on the way out.
Now some one reading this story is bound to say ” so what?” Even if I embellished it with a description of the mall, the glorious day and described very evocatively my whole experience, it won’t grab many eyeballs.
On the other hand, consider this :
One bright summer day, I set off to the Mall looking for a blue umbrella that I long wanted. Unfortunately two buses that went by were full . It was hot and I was getting impatient. Finally, decided to hitch a ride .
I put out my thumb and within minutes a young gentleman stopped his car and asked me where I wanted to go.
The Mall was on his way to work , he said, so I stepped inside . The boy looked too young to be driving such a swanky Mercedes, I thought while getting in.
He seemed to sense my question because he suddenly slowed down and poked my waist with a cold , hard, steel knife .
“One word and you’re dead,” the man cautioned. I instinctively broke into a sweat.
As he drove past the Mall I began to panic. Where was he headed and why did he pick on me?
Twenty minutes later he turned towards the Expressway. Obviously, he was headed out of town. And I was part of his getaway plan. I was frozen with fear and I didn’t even want to think how it would end.
Just then my phone rang.
“If I don’t answer it,my family will panic.”
He nodded his consent and lifted the knife so that I could get to my phone.
I took my chance and immediately yanked the bag and hurled it at him. He dropped the knife. At the same time I pulled the brake and the car came to a halt. Another car crashed into us and the young man was confused: to run or not to run?
To cut a long story short , the Police arrested the young man praised me for my sharp thinking .
I never did get that blue umbrella but I learnt a lesson for life.
Which story did you like?
So my response to today’s prompt for #WritingWednesdays would be – if I really do have the guts to tell things as they are, I would write a memoir. But honestly in my ordinary life, there has been nothing extra ordinary to merit a full length memoir.