“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” Anne Lamott
I’d like to tell you the stories of my family and friends – the flaws and secrets that abound. They make juicy narratives of affairs, alcoholism, drug abuse, unexpected pregnancies, lies and deceptions. They are full of people who are vain, controlling, and self-pitying.
At the same time, these are stories of people I love, who are also kind, generous, and trustworthy. I can’t reveal their confidences. Even the list in the first paragraph seems too revealing.
I’m not sure how to reconcile the dilemma as a writer – to express what I observe without hurting feelings. I find the people I know best to be fascinating, especially with their mix of wonderful attributes and their inadvertently destructive behavior. However, to present just one side of them – all sunny or all dark – oversimplifies the matter of these complex personalities.
For now, my observations remain hidden in my private journal, but I hope to find the right place to write about people more publicly, as they touch my own life.
I ask the writers in the SOL community, “What do you do? Do you write about the darker side of people you know well?”