Every semester when my students are writing their personal narratives, I tell them that the hardest part about narrative is honesty. But it's not the *intent* to tell the truth that's hardest. The very hardest part of narrative is that we have to be honest with *ourselves.*
Maybe without meaning to, we're always telling ourselves little lies--probably so that we feel better. i.e: I'm not really that whiney. Or, when I broke that kid's arm it wasn't my fault. Or, I don't tell lies. Or, there's nothing I'm ashamed of.
But the rub of personal narrative?
no one likes a perfect protagonist.
Polyanna? Only interesting because she (SPOILER) gets paralyzed at the end.
Well, I spent today writing about my *own* life. It's something I haven't done for awhile, bad writing teacher that I am.
And the thing is? That imperfect protagonist thing?
It's really hard. Really, really hard.
So I feel your pain, students. Doesn't make the pain any less necessary, unfortunately, but I still feel it.