Last week my memoir class (courtesy of Alice Osborn) had an exercise. The beginning phrase was "give me back" and the exercise was to expand that to 3 pages. I thought it sounded intriguing, so I got going on it, and boy, was I surprised at what came out!
My memoir deals with the very personal topic of dyspareunia (painful sex), and my own struggles with that. I've journaled a lot of very emotional stuff, but it's not quality writing. It's mostly just emotional vomit. This exercise gave me the structure I needed to put some of that passion on the page in a literary way. I was able to go into some of my journals and incorporate some of those raw feelings and thoughts.
Writing about my feelings during that journey is the hardest challenge I've faced as a writer. Part of me just doesn't want to go back and think about those tough times. Yet that's where the real heart of my memoir will be found.
I want to share my struggle in order to help others, and I know that sharing my feelings, as ugly and raw as they were, is part of that.