As writers, we tend to write about what we know. We take things that happen in our own lives and somehow use them in what we write. for myself, this is true in that I’m able to take all of the good and the sad, tragic, hurtful or a combo of them and use them to develop my writing that much further.
When I was writing Mari’s memoir, I took the very updates I wrote when she was alive and I have used those as my notes for her memoir. When those were written, they were fresh. Many of my memories have faded from that tragic time of those roller coaster sixteen days. I remember the big parts. Her heart rate plummeting before my eyes on the monitor on Friday. Or the neurosurgeon fellow coming in the room to tell us that her EEG had no change devastating us all. Or when I saw her four CT scans for the first time and saw how bad the stoke had really been. Or when we finally sat in that room on that fateful Wednesday when the “Doom and Gloom Squad” told us that our daughter was forever gone and we had to make the decision to let our daughter go that day on July 16, 2008.
I’ve taken those notes and turned it into a story about her and what happened those days. I’ve added fiction elements in that I’ve added dialogue and things like that to make it come more alive for the reader. In order for me to do all of this I have to take apart of who I am and put it into my writing. The story become more alive in this way. It will keep the interest of the reader better this way. It takes an event and turns it into a story people want to read. but in order to do all this, you have to slightly withdraw yourself from the writing otherwise you become too emotional to be able to do what the story needs. It’s where you put a sliver of ice in your heart so you can do it. Now with Mari’s story, this hasn’t happened so much. However, if I didn’t I’d be a crying mess all the time. I have to sort of withdraw myself from the event itself so I can get it all written down and then edit it. It just will take time in the end.