I've come to the last essay in Bird by Bird and once again the journey has left me with new insights. Last Class has done this as well. One thing she says is to write about your childhood.
When I first read this I was puzzled since my stories vary from contemporary womances to the paranormal and the mystery. Then what hit me is that writing about your childhood meant other things than the specific incidents. For me it's capturing the emotions I once experienced. The other is to address fears. Not the ones like the monsters in the closet, well not in that way, but the monsters in my own closet of fears. So writing about my childhood takes me on many paths. One is through the imagination. As a child mine was a fertile one often triffered by the books I read and in spinning my own versions of these stories. So imagination, emotions and fears are about my childhood.
Writing out of vengeance may not be the way to go but vengeance can mean many things. Stories told that aren't about real people but bits and pieces of others. Avoiding libel is a way to go. Should you base a character on a real person, changing their habits and characteristics can prevent. Thus you have changed the real person and made them something or someone different. I've done this in several of my stories, both with characters who infuriated me or who I wanted to honor. The good thing is none of these people ever recognized themselves. They were changed and become characters of the mind.
So thank you, Anne Lamott for inspiring me yesterday, today and tomorrow.