Show me your friends and I will show you your future
There’s a saying—or there should be if there isn’t—that goes somewhat like that. Isn’t that why we feel reassured when we see our children hanging out with “nice” kids—children who are respectful and serious about school, who benefit from healthy pastimes and find ways to enjoy themselves that is not injurious to themselves or to others? Why? Of course, when we see our children with such friends, we know they are learning, or having reinforced, habits that will serve them well as adults.
Show me your writing friends, and I will show you the future of your memoir.
Of course, you can write a memoir in isolation. Many writers have produced memoirs, novels, and poems writing alone in their offices (or kitchens!). Hemingway for instance, expostulated (ok…I’m using the word “write” too many times so I’m fishing for a synonym) how a writer worked alone, in isolation. But…
Hemingway was surrounded by writing friends: Fitzgerald, DosPassos, Stein. He might have put his words on paper while in isolation but he had the opportunity to try his ideas out with his writer friends; he could be inspired by their example, their dedication; he could be stimulated by their writing successes. He and his friends often wrote in Paris cafés, in what can be called a writing community.
Historical note: in Paris in the 1920s, you inserted a coin in a wall heater and that turned the gas on to warm your apartment or room. To save money, impoverished writers (Hemingway only marginally among them as his first wife had inherited a tidy sum) went into cafés where, for the price of a glass of wine—un vin ordinaire— they could write the afternoon away in comparative warmth. Doesn’t sound like isolation to me. In fact, it sounds like Hemingway was probably looking for a writing community to create in rather than isolation. So…
The famous American expatriates wrote in what we could easily call a writing community. Doesn’t that make you want a writing community, too? Join My Memoir Education—it’s free—a become a part of The Memoir Network writing community.
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You don’t have to write alone. You have choices to make your writing life easier.
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