On Writing: Memories

I've decided that the first post of each month is going to address writing. Because that's one of the top reasons I started this blog, and because for every five question I get... at least two of them are related to writing/blogging.
(And just like the rest of the entries in this blog (unless otherwise stated), these "writing posts" will also be based off of my personal experience. I write for fun, as a hobby, for when I'm supposed to be doing actual work, ...and because it makes me look productive when I'm supposed to be doing 'actual' work. Not because I necessarily know what it is I'm doing with my writing.)

Apparently one of the many 'labels' for the kind of blog posts that I do is: 'medical creative non-fiction.' There's an entire genre out there of this style of writing! I only learned this a few months ago! Because up until that point outside of calling it "my blog posts" ... I also referred to these entries as "my memories."

Writing about your medical history is already on its own intimate. The things that have happened to your own body are (whether you understand them or not) - a personal and private affair. And while medical professionals can explain and label, and family members can care for and worry: the things that happen to you medically are your own. They are your own experiences that no one else can feel or think about for you. Regardless of how 'textbook a case' may be that you've presented, once you've experienced it it becomes yours - and remains uniquely your own. Sharing these experiences should, for the writer, be treated like some kind of risk you're taking - and for the reader, with the respect that this moment of sharing demands.
That is what I try to get across in my blog posts. The underlying tone, and the courage that I need to put these experiences down all comes from the fact that I own them. They aren't right or wrong, it's just how I've remembered events or experiences from this one aspect of my life. And even with these assurances I still feel a flip-flopping nervousness in my stomach as I schedule posts to be published.
There is a vulnerability in writing (and sharing) your memories that is simultaneously cathartic and nerve wracking. It's like right before you see your x-ray, you either know already something is wrong or not - but it's out of your hands now once it's caught on that film. Once your truth hits paper it becomes something that others can discuss and interpret, you sit back and wait for the feed back to drift back to you. Uncertain how you will react to it, and even more uncertain to whether or not you can do anything with the feedback you get. For an action driven person this can be tough!

Against the recommendation of many "professional" "real" "serious" "actual" bloggers out there... I don't do drafts of my posts. (Maybe for about a handful of the hundreds that have been written.) In part it's because I want to stay true to those memories that I initially recall, and also in part because I haven't figured out a way to manage my time to allow me to do drafts & final versions of my posts. With that in mind, I also try to focus on one 'memory' or incident at a time. It gets overwhelming, for me anyway, when I try to remember all the times I have broken a bone in school. Or if I try to remember all the times I have had to splint myself. Honing in just one moment allows me to stay as true as possible to the thoughts and emotions I am recalling during that event. It also, by default, means that I am slowing those experiences down in my mind in order to recall as accurately as possible. And that's where the real work is for me, arguably where I struggle the most when it comes to writing my memories. But it's also the part of the process I am most drawn to, over and over again.

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