Relentless Files — Week 52

In case you’re thinking of writing autobiographical nonfiction, read this. And then: write. Write your heart out.

Vanessa Martir's Blog

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*An essay a week in 2016*

One of the questions that always comes up in my Writing Our Lives Class is about privacy. How do we write about our past and not violate people’s privacies? How can we prevent angering or hurting people? I often quote Ann Lamott who once tweeted: “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.”

I refer them to my essay “How We Rationalize Privacies We Invade”.

I may still be called an atrevida and traicionera. I hear my brother’s words on loop in chest, “Write it, sis, may somebody’ll fuckin’ talk.” I feel the guilt and the shame dig their claws into me. They make my fingers tremble as I type. I clench my jaw. I hold my breath. I see my daughter’s face and remember the why…she can’t…

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