For Semester Two I’ve begun using this blog as more of a research diary; a place to talk about how I’m feeling about research as well as the research itself. I’m feeling positive this week — I wrote 1200 words a day in the last two days, 1000 of which are somewhat useful. I’ve been writing about the process of writing and publishing ‘A Girl called Fifteen.’, and decisions I made while editing the material. The questions I am exploring include:
‘ Publishing writing about living people has implications; I acknowledge the subjectivity of my writing, but will they?’
‘Regardless of their truthfulness, what makes these events and these private histories my stories to tell?’
‘As a child I was obsessive about dates of when things happened, but over the years this need has diminished and I remember that time simultaneously as a series of flashbacks and as a dreamy flow of walks to school, leftovers and flights to my bedroom. How could this sporadic, non-linear childhood be written into story?’
I’ve been reading Virginia Woolf’s Moments of Being and Marina Warner’s introduction to Moments of Truth (edited by Lorna Sage). The two ideas that really resonate with me are:
1. Woolf’s theories about ‘non-being’ — the ‘silent and invisible’ parts of one’s own experience, which one forgets because they are parts of a routine we have learned.
2. ‘new beings made of words’ (Marina Warner) I like this phrase: new beings made of words. Each writer in the collection Moments of Truth doesn’t simply tell their story, but finds her story in the writing. Her self on the page grows in words rather than in blood and muscle and bone. In the same way, my character Fifteen became a ‘new being made of words’. This is me, but this is not me.