So when a reader says, ‘But this isn’t the Ruby I know…’ I can smile, brush them off and declare, ‘No, it isn’t.’

‘It’s about you but it’s not about you at all. How can that be?’

Today I’ve been re-reading some of my main sources — Shields, Woolf, Clendinnen, Modjeska — in an effort to frame my ideas about memoir and contextualise the questions I’ve raised about my own creative writing. Reading these again now, with extra knowledge now stored in my head, I’m finding more and more ideas that I must have skimmed over when I first read their work last semester. The line above is from Shields, recounting a fiction writer friend’s reaction to his nonfiction work. Shields doesn’t seem to care about this response — that is, he is thoughtful about it, rather than concerned. I’m trying to think about my work in the same way — ethics as not simply ‘what is the wrong thing to write?’ but as more ‘how can I use this writing to answer a question or form a useful purpose?’ So when a reader says, ‘But this isn’t the Ruby I know…’ I can smile, brush them off and declare, ‘No, it isn’t.’

On a side note, I’m finding this blog difficult to maintain at the moment. I think this is because I’m gradually moving from a reading/writing stage to an editing stage, and so my thoughts are moving around in circles, overlapping material I’ve discussed before — whereas a blog should move forwards in some way, no? At the moment, I’m thinking (and thus this blog is written) like this:

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