May is (Motherhood) Memoir Month- You don’t have to be a mother to have a motherhood story- It’s where YOU begin, or began, or begin again. I am always and forever beginning again, a firm believer in new beginnings, but also in finishing what I’ve begun. I’m not as good at that. I’m better at starting over.
I’ve been writing a memoir about my mother- what it means to be a daughter of a manic mother, and how mania trickles down, becoming either a driving force for creativity or a stumbling stone. And, how my mother’s death has changed, but hasn’t ended our relationship.
The mother-daughter relationship is a complicated, conflicted one, and writing about it helps us understand it better, and helps me understand myself better.
Meanwhile, the writing feels messy. However, I’ve found some tools to help bring order to the chaos. As I write about this during the month of May I’ll share some helpful ways I’m working through my struggles, and offer prompts to get you going, or keep you writing.
Have you tried ekphrasis? It’s a lovely Greek word for art that speaks out. Employing ekphrasis can make your writing more vivid, and more enticing. In its most basic form, you begin with a work of art, which can be as simple as photo from your phone- one that speaks to you, one you return to and stare at. Start by simply describing what is there. Let the words flow without worrying about what is on the page. Ignore spelling and grammar. You can clean it up later if you decide you want to work with what you get. But for a first draft just see where it leads. You may be quite surprised.
Follow me for more insights and practice3s around ekphrastic writing.