Thursday, November 10, 2011

Personal Narrative Writing and Childhood

girl, writingImage via Wikipedia
by Jean Purcell
Twitter @opinaripeople

A personal story with little mention of childhood would be hard to find. Our personal stories, because they are about our lives, naturally grow out of early hopes and expectations. There were also fears that became part of us. I like to honor the dreams and hopes that arose from childhood. Also, I treasure the realization of having overcome certain normal fears of childhood and youth.  
    The first edition of my personal narrative, Not All Roads Lead Home, included influences of childhood that went with me into adult life. I thought I was writing about adult experiences. I did not know how powerful childhood and youth memories would be or the benefit of revisiting them. There were no tragic incidents to recall, thankfully, but there were hurts, surprises, and disappointments, of course, for "thus is life." Influences of strong events affect us uniquely, for a while, maybe a lifetime, yet maybe with changing perspectives.  
     I discovered during writing the book that after weeping through pages of writing one could feel lighter and more free. In a couple of instances, it seemed the writing time allowed a good settling or release in heart and mind. Clearer and more mature understanding and interpretation began to form...or so it seems.
     It's unclear to me whether or not we need to plan to include childhood or youth memories in personal narratives about grown up times, but I don't think we need to plan it. In my experience, what we are to share will come forth, to us, as we write. Then, we can consider and reflect how and how much to integrate of those memories. I think we can trust this.
Copyright (c)2011 Jean Purcell and Opinari Writers

A writing quote: "Be obscure clearly." ~E. B. White

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