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One Day I'm Gonna Write...

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Duke of York, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    I expect some of you of a certain age will remember Michael Holliday's version of The Story of My Life, which apparently started and ended with you.

    I was listening to an edition of "The Tyranny of Narrative" on the BBC Internet wireless this evening which asked what it's all about, this autobiography stuff, since it's almost certainly going to be full of mistruth.

    Mistruths rather than lies, because an autobiography only ever tells one side of the story. and it's left up to the reader to work out what the gaps in the narrative might contain, if they can.

    Have you ever felt compelled to write the story of your life? I so why, and if not, why not?

    Would you prefer to have someone write it for you, or would you prefer to have no written record that you ever existed?

    The Tyranny of Narrative, by the way, is an interesting series that discusses how narrative is utilised by politicians to influence or voting behaviour and about the power of telling stories in general. Facts take second place when the story is interesting enough.
    Nanook_rubs_it and Mrsmumbles like this.
  2. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    I kept a diary from age 7, when my aunt presented me with a Brownie diary and explained what it was for. Lost them all till 1974. Kept a detailed (sigh) diary since then until rewriting my will last year. Tasked unsentimental and rigorously *integrity* sorry can't think of the appropriate adjective, son2 with destroying them without reading when I die but then thought MEH so chucked them all (read em all first!) on leaf bonfire. Felt quite.... summat.
    Good summat, I shd prob add:)
    lexus300 and Duke of York like this.
  3. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    I haven't, but only because my life is incredibly boring.
  4. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    Who would be interested? I am just another insignificant human being. If I wrote one for my children they would feel under pressure to keep it. There is enough junk in their lofts as it is without me adding to it.
  5. Nanook_rubs_it

    Nanook_rubs_it Star commenter

    I have thought about it, but the title ‘Unreliable Memoirs*’ has already been taken .

    *the exciting bits are too tempting to re-imagine details, and the vulnerable bits too painful to be able to articulate on paper.
    lexus300 and Duke of York like this.
  6. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    I suspect everyone's life is boring as they live it, even those whose lives come across as interesting to others. It's all about the narrative you put together; and how good you are at fiction.

    Oddly enough, I was chatting to a very sweet 93 year old lady this afternoon, who's recently gotten into the habit of paying me a visit, just as I'm about to shut up shop for the day. I had grave concerns for her welfare after her husband died in 2016. She's a stubborn old girl who some attribute to having dementia and away with the fairies.

    I think she probably does have dementia to some extent, but she keeps her cards close to her chest; and it's only through gradually building trust with her that it's been possible to get her to open up.

    In the year before her husband died, it was impossible to get her to talk much about him and immediately after he died, she was unemotional about his death and spoke as though she was unaware he had gone. Today though, she wanted to talk about him, accepting he had died and what his death had meant to her.

    For some reason or other, she told me today she originally came from Taunton and when I asked if her husband had done so too, she said no, he came from Hastings. I asked how they came to meet, given that they married during the war years, when travel was nowhere as easy as it is today and she told me what was probably the most interesting story any of my residents has narrated.

    I suspect that everyone has a story to tell, equal to that of celebrities, if they care to open up. Celebrities endure exactly the same tedium the rest of us do, it's just that they are better at articulating themselves in front of the camera than most and have been trained in story telling.
  7. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    I love writing fiction and like to think I'm not bad at it. But the thought of trying to put my life down on paper just sounds like it would be boring.

    Maybe when I'm 80 I'll feel differently.
  8. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I got rid of all personal writings many years ago - diaries, adolescent poetry etc. I read the diaries and found they didn't reflect what I actually remembered so decided I preferred my remembered version of things. I am not going to start writing now, People can remember me or not, I don't care. It's the living that's the important thing.
    Thanks for the earworm @Duke of York
    nizebaby and Duke of York like this.
  9. nizebaby

    nizebaby Star commenter

    Trained in story telling? That's what ghost-writers are for! I was lucky enough to love sitting at the knees of elderly family members as they told me of our family history.
    I asked many questions
    ilovesooty and lexus300 like this.
  10. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    I want to forget the many, many embarrassing bits.
  11. nizebaby

    nizebaby Star commenter

    Don't get famous, then. Those are the bits your future biographers (and their readers) would enjoy the most.
  12. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Same here, wish I still could but I am now that older generation.:):rolleyes:
    nizebaby likes this.
  13. Pageant

    Pageant Occasional commenter

    I have written the story of my life as a form of therapy for me. A way to bury it all and forget.

    It begins with my childhood which was lacking in love. My mother was to say the least .... not normal.
    It goes on to how I met my husband and charts his disastrous up bringing and family life (full of his mother's mental illness and suicide attempts as he was growing up)
    It carries on to cover the disaster of my marriage to him. Disastrous because he turned out to be a controlling and coercive husband who liked to be verbally abusive too (but only in private)..
    It covers the death of our first child at the age of five from a rare degenerative metabolic disease and the birth of our second child (who had a one in four chance of the same outcome but we didn't know that at that point in time)
    It charts the decline of my relationship with my husband and his taking over our second child which I now know was parental alienation in all its glory. (I never knew that PAS existed until it happened to me).
    It ended with where I am now, having left my husband and with my daughter refusing to have anything to do with me because I (according to her dad who is her best friend) treated her dad so badly (!!!)

    It's not the story I would have ever wished to have and I know there will be those, even on here who will not believe it and decide it's all made up for sympathy, (my husband constantly told me I was a liar and it was all in my head) but it's been all too real for me. I lived it.

    The writing of it did help. It stopped me feeling like I was going totally crazy as my husband tried to make out I was, and at long last I have been free to discover who I am and who I am finally allowed to be!

    If I could be bothered I'd write my story for real I would do so if only as a way of screaming my frustration and buried anger to the world, but there's not much point.
  14. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    Therapists sometimes recommend writing a letter you never send, to someone you think spoiled your life. If they can persuade you to do it and read it out to them, it enables you to get the schitt off your chest, knowing that at least someone wanted to hear about it.

    I expect there are TES members who read your post, @Pageant, and can find much they can relate to in it. Autobiographies that present a scenario of overcoming adversity to have a happy ending are the ones everyone loves.

    It the story of your life as you perceive it, but it's a story you can make up a happy ending to; and who knows? It might sell ten million copies, bring you fame and fortune to bring about a real happy ending.
  15. Jude Fawley

    Jude Fawley Star commenter

    I considered publishing my autobiography 'Who Will Carry My Coffin?' until I realised they use trollies these days.
    monicabilongame and nizebaby like this.
  16. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Move on Pageant, each new day can be a happy one or a sad one that depends on how you decide to treat it.
    Losing a child is devastating, losing your spouse is similar and equally difficult. I have found that setting yourself goals makes you more focused on the future and less on the past. It (losses) never goes away but tends to dull as time passes.
  17. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    I'm embarrassed about things my children recall. That doesn't happen to frilly-white drawers Maleficent.
  18. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    I have been to funerals where the coffin is carried.
  19. Grandsire

    Grandsire Star commenter

    Not having children, I expect most of what I’ve produced to simply get chucked on a bonfire soon after I’m gone.

    I keep a diary when I go on holiday, and I suppose I’d quite like someone else to read it and see what fun I had, and smile a bit. Last year’s diary would probably make them hoot with laughter, if they would take a moment to read it before consigning it to the flames.

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