One of the biggest issues a memoir writer confronts is this: is one's life one's own?
What about the right to privacy of others whose lives have intersected with ours?
I've been at work for a few years now on a memoir, as the daughter of an "anti-guru" who never went to school, among many other incarnations jumbled up into this one life.
Despite some dangerous wrong turns, such as joining a Manson-like urban commune (not my father and mother's artist colony, but a whole other adventure on the darker side of things), I had the chance to enjoy the Sixties, as some benevolent God or Goddess (ourselves, my father would have certainly stated in no uncertain terms) apparently meant them to be enjoyed.
I was in my teens, I was apparently innocently pretty and definitely bright, I had never been forced to follow any conventional rules of any kind, and I had a forward-looking father (my mother had had a nervous breakdown, sadly, but that's another story) who wanted to see me have as much fun as possible.
Under these circumstances, I had very interesting adventures.
As it turns out, I had some of them with an artist and writer who is now extremely well known, and deserves to be. Unfortunately, he doesn’t want me to include him in this memoir—a near-impossibility, as we were pretty important to one another.
My parents, while fond of this swain of the Sixties, were extremely highbrow…even though my mother had been a cartoonist herself at one time, they valued “real” art—figurative painting, of which my mother was, and is, a master.
They felt that I ought to avoid hooking up with a commercial artist, which was what my friend was at that time. I saw that he had a special ability, if not a genius, that only needed development, and that he would one day come fully into his own. That is exactly what happened—in time for my father, who died in 1990, to agree that I had been correct in saying my boyfriend was a great artist, if not always a very generous person on the creative level.