Thursday, January 14, 2010

Death and writing

I've been quiet this week (blog-wise and in general). Feeling a little overwhelmed by emotion, between the terrible sadness in Haiti, and, on a more personal level, the sadness in my husband's family as they grieve for the death of his beloved grandfather and worry about the health of some other family members.

But, I can link the depressing topic of death with writing! PoetMom posted an interesting question recently regarding what, if any, provisions her readers-who-are-writers have taken to ensure their wishes are followed regarding the publication (or not) of journals or works in progress.

Making a will is on my list of things to get done this year, and I will make a provision for my writing journals and files. Assuming Brian out lives me, I'll leave decisions about what to do with everything up to him, and ask that he consult my writing friends about anything he has questions about. I would hope that he would work to publish the things that I was working to publish at the time of my death.

If we die together or he dies first, then I will have one of my MFA friends be put in charge of making those decisions. (I need to ask her first, obviously!)

The only real question in my mind is what to do with those books and books filled with morning pages. In some ways, they are utterly private and certainly are not written with the intention of ever being read. On the other hand, if I'm dead, I'm not sure my privacy is really relevant, and maybe my survivors would find comfort in reading my day to day musings. On the other other hand, I would hate for something I wrote in a private journal to be misinterpreted or cause pain to a loved one.

What are your thoughts on what you'd want done with your writing (computer files, journals, etc.) posthumously? Best Blogger Tips


Tracy said...

Sorry to hear about the loss in Brian's family. Death is hard. And Haiti. It's totally overwhelming. I avoid images altogether when these things happen ever since 9-11 because they haunt me. But it sounds horrible and they need so much help.
I thought I might just ask that the morning page journals be destroyed. There is nothing publishable in them and they would make for pretty boring reading (and potentially hurtful to some). It's a good reminder. We did our wills, but we need to do the 'memo' that gives direction for these sorts of things.

Kim said...

I hate the idea of destroying all those pages but they are not meant to be read by anyone else. I'd hate it even more if something I wrote in a rush of emotion hurt somebody I love.I use those pages to untangle what I'm feeling and thinking. Nobody needs to read them. I've told my sister I don't want them read but nothing official. We have wills but they need to be updated and I guess add something about this in there too. Hard to think about...

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