Writing my autobiography is more emotional than I considered. I began this project as a means of moving out of denial into acceptance. From childhood to old age, I felt the need to document my life’s experiences. Like Jimmy Buffet said about making his music for him, I write for me. Since my girlfriend JoAnne went away to college, leaving me behind to fulfill my parents idea of how my life should be, I wrote profusely. For two years I wrote to JoAnne every day.
When a guy, I thought was my boyfriend, went to Korea to serve our country, I wrote to him everyday, too. My unknown claim to fame was a story I wrote. It was about 20 hand written pages. Every sentence had the title of a song. One day, I hope to recreate a similar vignette.
What surprises me about writing my autobiography is how emotional it becomes. It seems each experience leaves me laughing so hard I feel silly or overcome with grief. Alone in my loft, alone in my house, alone to live out the rest of my life, an outsider might think I am ‘nuts’ if they suddenly walked in and saw me laughing like a fool or huddled in a fetal position.
My writing coach reminded me that Sally Fields spent 7 years writing her autobiography. I can see why it takes so long. Aside from getting the grammar correct and the order of things in order, the emotional response by putting events on paper, takes its toll. After each experience is documented, I need to take a break, go for a walk or call a friend.
Still I find writing an effective way to deal with three things. Loneliness, inspiration and boredom. Loneliness, with its negative connotation goes against my usual sense of humor and carefree lifestyle. Inspiration aggrandizes hope. It allows me to think of what experiences lie ahead. Boredom, something boring people indulge in, just isn’t for me. I crave something to do. Something with a bit of a challenge. Whether it be shopping for a piece of furniture, landscaping our yard, or fixing my vacuum cleaner, writing is the perfect escape from tedious chores, and negative thoughts.
Hell, I’m only 72 years old. I got a lot of living to do and new experiences to write about.