last night i went to a reading by a sort of a friend (or friend of a friend) who is on a book tour for her new autobiographical graphic novel. which i am now reading, and it’s sort of a weird experience because i’ve never read a novel with characters that based upon people i actually know.
there was a Q&A after the reading, and I raised my hand to ask if she confronted any kind of self-consciousness while she was writing. did she worry about how her friends who are characters would react to how they are portrayed or how they would react upon seeing words they confided in her now appearing in print (by a major publisher)? did she worry about hurting her mother?
and i really liked her answer. she wasn’t worried about some people because she would never see them again and they had nothing to do with her life. but with her friends, she would email them sections of the book, and they would suggest changing a few things here and there. sort of rewriting her memories of them. so it really became this collaborative process. which i really appreciate. what a great way to develop characters who are not actually caricatures.
because, as an anonymous blogger, this is something i really struggle with. and i like to think there will come a time while i am still on the planet that i will have the courage to claim authorship. and not think about how a person i am writing about will feel about what i write about them. without fear of repercussions.
but then it’s all so narcissistic. because i am operating under the assumption that
- everyone in my life will be reading.
- they will actually remember what i write
it’s all so fleeting.
because when i do show my work in public these days and let my friends and acquaintances know about it, few, if any, actually attend, read or view. i don’t say that out of bitterness or hurt.
it’s just a reminder that not everything I feel is greatly important to me will be important to people who are important to me. but none of that means that i am unimportant to them. just in different ways. and there are all of these new people around and i have no idea who they are, and that’s kind of thrilling. fleeting and thrilling. maybe you are one of them.