Will There Ever Be a Rainbow?


It’s not-all-that-shocking confessions week here at HitchDied, I guess, so here’s the other thing that’s been going on in my life that I haven’t been blogging about:  I’m writing a book.  But it’s November, so you can’t spill a latte without getting some on a would-be novelist.  But I’m not writing a novel. It’s even lamer than that: I’m writing a memoir.

Even before I fell in love with writing, I talked about how maybe one day I’d write a memoir.  Every over-educated under-employed person thinks about writing a memoir, right?  It’s a total privileged-kid cliché.  But my memoir had a hook: my parents died a few months apart when I was 21.

Oh shit! That book already exists and already made all of the money and won all of the acclaim.  And sadly, I’m way too late to cash in as its Asylum Studios equivalent: A Bummer Read of Workmanlike Competence.

No matter, I’m not writing this to sell it. l.  I am writing it because this story has been waiting to be told for six years and I’m tired of saying “someday.”  I’m writing it because I need to conquer a long-term goal, and this one is up to bat.

I’m following the NaNoWriMo schedule of at least 1,667 words per day (as of yesterday I’m ahead by 18 whole words!).  My friend Josh suggested I do it, and I latched on to the idea because getting this story out of me requires a bit of a kick in the pants.  It’s too easy to say, “I don’t want to think about time in my life today, it will make me too sad” and use that to excuse laziness.  And writing this has not, actually, made me sadder or more depressed.  I haven’t shed a single tear typing up even the most excruciating memories of that time.

I wish I could say the opposite was true, that sorting these memories into a narrative has been an invaluable emotional catharsis, but that hasn’t kicked in yet.

Although it has felt like a tremendous relief, as though the untold story was a burdening me.  Even though I’m only telling it to my computer screen.  Or maybe that relief is all about working to achieve a long-term goal, turning “maybe someday” into “today.” I’m crossing something off my life list, even if I will be promptly replacing it with “edit all that crap you wrote last November into something readable.”


  1. I’m so happy you’re writing a book! You have one guaranteed reader right here.

    For what it’s worth, when I buy a memoir it’s never for a particular “hook”. I always buy because I like the style of the writing and I want to spend time with the author. Don’t worry about whether your story has already been written or if you’ve accomplished enough in your life yet to write it. People like me will read it because you are a great writer and we want you to tell us your story.

  2. I would be very excited to read your book! I hope the rest of the writing process goes well for you.

  3. This is good. This is REALLY REALLY good. I’m very happy for you that you’re doing this. And like Kayleigh above, I will reiterate that memoirs or only a little bit about the story and a lot about the writing. Own your words and your story. We can’t wait to read them.

  4. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. I am so impressed, and I will totally read your memoir! I admire your dedication to your goal — not to mention meeting the daily word count. Go you!

  6. I read about nanowrimo at another girls’ blog and I love the idea.
    Even if it does not feel cathartic at the moment, I think writing things down helps you put everything in place, gives structure to your thoughts, life, being.

    To quote “WHY I WRITE by BRIAN DOYLE” , that I thought was brilliant on why we write:

    (found on the post below)

    “Because, as the fine essayist E. M. Forster said, “How can I know what I think until I see what I say?”

    Because there have been times in my life when the only way I could handle rage and horror and fear was to write it down and thus fend it off, fight it, force it to retreat, understand it, hurt it.

    Because writing is a form of contemplation and a form of prayer.

    Because writing occasionally leads to rapture.

    Because writing is a way to connect electrically and directly with other people, which we crave, while generally preserving privacy, which we also crave. (“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself,” wrote Walt Whitman.)

    Because writing is a form of performance that does not demand physical grace or youth, and writers, despite their craving for privacy, like to be the center of attention, usually intermittently, rather than continually like film stars …”


  7. I would so read your memoir. And I won’t care if it’s “been done before” because The Work That Shall Not Be Named is such a terrible, narcissistic mess that it would be hard not to do better. (That came off like you can’t write or something – I didn’t mean it like that! I love your blog! Oh God, the holes I dig for myself.)

    Seriously, that Other Book…to paraphrase Tina Fey, it’s like someone yelling MAY I BE AWESOME AT YOU? at you the whole time. Yuck. Yours will be infinitely superior.

  8. I’m concerned you won’t be publishing it, because then how am I supposed to read it?

  9. I have been struggling to write a memoir for years. Seriously very excited for you, it’s a huge deal.

  10. That’s seriously awesome, good for you…I can only imagine how good it must feel to get it all written out.

  11. Pingback: Honesty, Privacy, Blogging, and My Book | HitchDied

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