There are a number of things that inspired me to write my life story. I’ve often been told by others I should write about it because it’s an unusual story. A couple of years ago, I began to do some genealogy research, and was immediately sucked into it. I’ve spent tons of time investigating members of my family tree, and working to build the stories of their lives from various records I’ve found. Many of the most interesting stories involved incredible tragedy, and I started to think about how traits and behaviors make their way down family trees. I thought about these people in relation to me, or in relation to other people in my family, and felt there was an element worth investigating within the framework of my own life. I also started going to a therapist for the first time in my life, in an effort to work through some of the issues I face as a result of the way I was brought up.
These three things – my personal history, stories about ancestors I located in my genealogy research, and my experiences in therapy are the inspiration for my writing, and they have become the three main components I follow in my memoir. It has been tricky to determine how to move between these elements and still create a primary thread that weaves its way through the story from beginning to end. The structure of the story has been much more difficult for me to plan than the writing itself was, but I enjoy the challenge, and am looking forward to getting feedback – good and bad – about my writing.