Writing memoir is all about keeping your distance

I savor each and every comment I receive, and many times one of your comments is the spark that gets my fingers pounding the keyboard. A hefty portion of comments relate to  my apparent ease with sharing my story through an unfiltered lens.

It took over a decade of drafts, revisions, writing groups, writing classes, and rejections to get Stretch Marks here today. And as disappointed as I am that it has taken what feels like an eternity to publish, I have no doubt that this is the right timing. This is the story I wanted to tell but couldn’t, because I was either in the way or hadn’t kept my proper distance.

I grew up, got perspective, and got knocked around some more. The passage of time helped slough away most of the bullshit I’d attached to being infertile. Time allowed me to listen to the feedback from agents, editors, and readers. It helped deepen my compassion and improved my writing.

When I began to look back through my journals again a few years ago, without an agenda or goal, I was finally able to cry for the angry, insecure, frightened woman who spent five months in Ciudad Juárez freaked out of her mind.

Time granted me the grace to step aside and find my voice.

It wasn’t easy, but it was well worth it.

8 thoughts on “Writing memoir is all about keeping your distance

  1. You are amazing Liz. What an honest and heartfelt story you have written. I so enjoy your writing just as I enjoyed knowing your boys when our kids were together in school. Such a frightening beginning when you went to adopt them but I am not surprised to read about the courage and strength you had to deal with all of it.

  2. ok, this s the type of writing — raw, unfiltered, unadorned — that will make you stand out from the pack. This post reminds me of a comment I heard famous photographer Graciela Iturbide make. She’d ask her teacher (Alvarez Bravo?) if she was ready for a show, and he’d say no. You’re not ready yet. And maybe all those rejections and conferences and agent-seeking sessions serve the same purpose. To help us refine our message, our voice. I can see your voice transforming, even after a few blog posts. Bravo, mujer!

    • Yes, she’d ask Manuel Alvarez Bravo and he just knew. She also trusted him, no? The same goes for Lillian Hellman when writing “The Little Foxes” and Dashiell Hammett would hand it back to her with a look that sent her fuming back to her desk.

      You guys have been that for me! ¡Muy agradecida! Liz

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