Nobody looks like what they really are on the inside.
You don’t. I don’t.
People are much more complicated than that. It’s true of everybody.Neil Gaiman
I’m deep in what I hope will be the final edit of my memoir – the first one, anyway. The one where I find myself in the Kimberley, am adopted by my Aboriginal Aunties, and my life becomes so weird that I can no longer deny the truth of my own strangeness.
I started this project in 2011.
This is my ninth draft.
It’s not procrastination.
It’s more like self-therapy.
I write a bunch of self-conscious shit. Leave it for a while, come back, realise how awful it is, slash it to the bone. Start over.
Come back to it later.
Still so much self-therapy as I work out my past. Awful. Unnecessary. I cut that shit out too.
Fill the page with a bit more truth and vulnerability. A whole bunch more shit.
Every edit I cut it to the bone, and keep only the bits that are true in the most agonisingly raw reveal of my previously well-hidden life.
With a few funny stories thrown in. And a bit of scenery.
Just to break up the agony a bit.
Hopefully it won’t be agony for you to read it. The only person sucking their breath through their teeth should be me.
What I hate about writing memoir is how it forces me to see myself. My stupidity. My endless patterns of insecurity. My lack of maturity.
What I love about writing memoir is how it forces me to see myself. My humanity. My courage. My endless ability to keep going, no matter what difficulties I face.
In the end, all I can hope is that I have told my story well and with honesty. With enough skill that it ends up a decent read.
Meanwhile, there will be much more sighing and screwing up of post-it notes, and red pen, and drinking of coffee and tea. I like coffee when I edit (in the mornings) and tea when I am writing fresh words.
Wish me luck. The end is in sight. After which I’ll have a professional cast their eye over it and help me tidy anything that is glaringly suckful. After which I will endeavour to find it a home with an agent or publisher.
But first, let me get these final words onto the page.
Along with my blood, sweat and tears.
Love, pencil shavings and too many empty mugs on my desk, Nicole xx