Sunday, September 16, 2012


"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" Martin Luther King, Jr.

This morning, I seized the little "alone" time I get these days to catch up writing my book, my personal story of incest, titled COMING OUT FROM UNDER. After an hour or two of just letting it flow, I stopped to re-read that flow, a section that was less focussed on the actual sexual abuse. It gave me, and I hope my future reader, some breathing space, some break from the nastier details. I found I'd even interjected some funnier moments in my life, the moments that kept me sane and stopped me from wanting to shoot myself.

As I made a cup of tea, still reflecting on what I wrote, I remembered my first draft. I'd run the first 10-20 pages past one of my daughters. When she read them, she looked at me sadly and said "Mom, it's so dark, so black". I deleted all of it. Did I really want readers to open up my book and immediately start feeling depressed?

So I began again, this time going way back into my early childhood, recalling good times, bad times and how confusing I found the adults in my world. I talked about going to school, playing hooky, never having enough to eat, and the dreams I had for myself. As I wrote, again I had to ask myself, would my readers be interested in this stuff ... the stuff before the abuse? Remember, the actual sexual abuse in my case didn't occur till I was nearly 12. Again, I stopped.  Perhaps I was just being self-indulgent, even arrogant to think someone would want to read all this. People want to know your history, your background, if you're famous or a celebrity. I am none of those, that's for sure.

So now, as I move on covering the adolescent and abusive years, I am constantly censoring what I'm writing. How much detail is too much? What will my readers want to know? And as the unpleasant details unfold, will they welcome a break, the odd tid-bit tossed in about happier or funnier moments in my life?

As I mentioned in one of my last posts, I'm currently reading 2 books about incest. One is hard-hitting with a steady onslaught of the horror that child lived with. The other builds more gradually as mine is doing. I'm enjoying (bad choice of a word when it comes to a book on incest) both. I identify with events in both stories, so much so, that it's scary how similar our abusers are and how we responded to their abuse. I like the writing style of both writers, but their approaches are different. Of course, ultimately, my book and my style are my own as it should be.

But here's where I turn to you who are reading this. How much of the background, personal stuff do  you want? And what about the nitty-gritty: the actual details of what went on? How specific does one get before it's all too much to read? And would you want the lighter moments that show the woman evolving from just an object of her father's lust into someone who eventually found the courage to break away, build a new good life for herself and is today, actually enjoying writing her often horrid story and coming out from under?

I'm thinking about putting an additional page on this blog where I'll include excerpts from my story from time to time. Do you think this is a good idea? I suppose it's my way of asking you to "approve" my approach, to have you tell me if what I put there is something you'd want to read.

Please leave me your comments on the many questions I've asked you in this post right here on this blog. What you say is important to me. I thank you in advance for taking the time out of your busy lives to help me out. And as the photo and Martin Luther King Jr's words urge us to be

No comments:

Post a Comment