I used to think the only way to finish a novel was to fully plot it and define characters conflict and the ending.
I still believe this.
However, what I have learned from the writing critique group I lead is that there are more reasons for writing than simply completing a book.
Several of my memoirists have shown me that writing is often used as a catharsis or healing process.
I was shocked and touched by the events of some of my members’ lives. Their motivation for writing their story was not to make a million dollars at writing their book (good luck with that) or to gain fame (living with that shackle is a whole other story).
Their reason for writing was to heal themselves, help others or in some cases, to simply understand had what happened to them.
It’s not journaling because the events had already happened. In some cases, writong in third person is necessary in order to be distanced from the trauma and pain.
A memoir is a slice of a person’s life where they learned something important. In these cases, the importance is driving the writer, but delving into and reliving hurt is a very difficult.
And so, what I have come to learn is that writing a book, especially a memoir that chronicles an emotional event is not always a plot driven, easy-to-recount situation.
In cases like these, the process is not always linear, not made of fictional characters and certainly not painless.-