What did I say?
Really but I’m not sure where I’m going…
24″ Waste has taught me a lot. My latest memoir based on a flaunt with Anorexia in the 70s, has been a long and convoluted road. I wrote it, getting my message on paper. But the underlying concepts were unclear. I have a really good friend, smart, honest and most importantly a reader.
‘A brave effort,’ she said. I tried to rationalise the comment but in my heart I knew I hadn’t touched the core subject deeply enough. It needed work, much more work. Now on my fifth rewrite, the extras folder bulges with words spilled onto the page, probably never to be read.
Last term, I enrolled in writing courses, hoping to hone the craft. I decided to be true, a storyteller with a bit of literary finesse. An invisible glass wall of insecurities kept me immobilised. There were some issues around this story:
- Anorexia is a mental health diagnosis. I didn’t want to own that initially.
- Who would understand the duality of an anorexic’s life?
- The voice of compulsion is not the voice of schizophrenia.
- What did I want to achieve? I wanted to help others, a nice ideal but too broad to be useful. What did I really want to do? I wanted to share the point of resolution which occurred for me eight months ago. I finally found an answer to the question that had plagued me for years, what caused this? I found the root cause. The road to self-love has been arduous.
- Although I have maintained normal body weight since the age of 21, some of the old patterns of thinking remained entrenched.
- Shame. This is a big one feeling somehow flawed and forever guilty at allowing this to happen.
- The fact that the current structure of my narrative didn’t work.
My time on the slippery slope has come to a close giving me clarity. I have a new title in mind both illusive and insightful. The tag line works. Now into part two of a five-part book, I have chosen a structure that allows me to explore the facets of my life as a teenager and I am clear on the message I want to share.
A lot of research, writing, revision lies ahead but I feel positive and have taken the lash from my back allowing myself space to think, write and create. I have shared this post hoping to inspire others struggling with sharing their vulnerabilities. Sending you love and strengt. It will be okay.