Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Story I'm Afraid to Write

A few weeks ago, my brother asked me why I'd never written a serious story--particularly something about a sick baby.  I have real-life experience (with my little boy, Jayden, and my twin sisters who were born very premature), and maybe I could write something really meaningful.

I told him, I don't write stories like that because I don't want to relive any of the time when my baby was sick.  I've spent two years piling happy memories on top of the ones from the hospital, hoping they'd fade.  I write light, fun stories because that's where my mind wants to spend its time.

My brother nodded and let it go, but I couldn't stop thinking about what he'd said.

Then I had an idea for a book unlike any I've written so far. A serious book.  A book that would challenge me emotionally.

I've barely started and already I've ended every writing session in tears. The research is really, really difficult and the story is the most personal thing I've ever written.  It's likely I won't make it to the end and, even if I do, it would be a miracle if it was the sort of book anyone actually wanted to read.  But it is the book of my heart, and I really believe it's what I need right now.

Is there a special book you want to write someday?  One you're afraid to start?


Wen Baragrey said...

I'm awfully glad your brother asked that question :)

Keisha Martin said...

Natalie go for it, sometimes the book we are afraid to write is the book that is meant to be shared with the world, and you may be surprised how many women endured what you did and also similar situations as what baby Jayden is enduring at the present time. I one day hope to write a memoir about my life growing up in an abusive house hold and how that affected me as an adult and why writing saved my life. It will be a very emotional book to write because I will have to revert back to myself as a child but its a book I must write because maybe one person will say hey I went through that and like me they overcame that, please update how the book is going.

Jade Timms said...

I have a story like that. I'm planning on writing it at some point, when the story is ready to be told. I'm sure it will be hard, but I'm also certain it will be worth it.

The book I'm currently revising I wrote with the notion that it was "just for me" and it turned out to be the strongest thing I've written.

Good luck with it!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

There is a book I will never write--too raw. But I believe we can tap into those emotions to write many different stories, so that's what I hope to do.
I believe you should write what is calling to you, and it sounds like this new book is. Let it be whatever it needs to be. A friend of mine lost her daughter. The poetry she wrote about that is starkly vivid and moving. It's both remembrance of pain and a tribute to a fiercely strong girl.