I'VE HAD A REQUEST FROM A READER (enclosed):
Could you do a bit of a blog on what the writer does with her emotions when writing? I want to write about my two sets of grandparents and their very different circumstances, but as I examine the stark contrast, I begin to cry for my grandparents wbo were so very poor...am I not the one to write this story,.then?
I'll have to sleep on this....
- so it's actually the next day,and of course I have thoughts, not entirely charitable. My first thoughts were about dealing with the problem at hand. Second thoughts were about my own artistic problems, always working on them. Third thoughts were professional. This question is like a writing assignment, the kind of work I did/do for a living., not that I make a living. But I am becoming less generous than I used to be, mainly because I get tired sooner. I have to husband my energy, only so much per day, per task (love that word). Having said that, I would offer a few ideas to help Commenter solve her problem. Not solve - approach.
1) Treat it like a fable. Aesop comes to mind. "Once upon a time" creates a distance between the narrator and the protagonists and their story can be told in the third person with time as a buffer between them and her emotions.
2) Still in the third person, treat it like a case report, as if you were a social worker dealing with clients and maintaining a professional distance. I said to my son's counsellor last week that I considered her a good friend and she said she wasn't allowed to do or say that to me.
3) Tell it like a true confession in the first person. It needn't be history; it could be present tense, from the POV of a child (adult child) in the house, or a neighbour, not necessarily a kind one.
4) Recall the details as they impinge on your own life and how they have affected you. In other words, make it a memoir.
That's enough. I am doing a lot of mentoring these days.
Have a good one.