Jill here. My husband is obsessed with Walt Disney. He reads every book about the man's life that he can get his hands on. He knows more trivia about Walt and the Disney company than he does about anything else, save the Bible (my husband is a youth pastor). And my husband could not wait to see the movie Saving Mr. Banks.
I thought it looked good, but I was surprised to find that I loved it. And the funny thing was, I loved the movie for an entirely different reason than my husband did. This is a film that goes back and forth between two stories. We have the present, in which Mr. Disney is trying to get P. L. Travers to sign over the film rights to the book Mary Poppins so he can make his movie. And we have the story of a young P. L. Travers growing up in Australia. My husband loved the story with Walt. And I loved the story of the little girl who became an author.
It had never occurred to me until I was sitting in the theater, crying over this film, that an author might write a fictional story to deal with the pain in her past, that the book might be a way for her to heal her heart. If you've seen the film, the scene in which the Sherman brothers are performing the song Fidelity Fiduciary Bank is incredibly powerful as you watch the contrast between how silly the Sherman brothers are and the author remembering what really happened to inspire that scene in the book. Amazing.
I just bawled.
If you haven't seen this movie, you must.
There is a deep pain in each of us, some darker than others. And perhaps someday you might feel called to write about that untold story inside you. You might do it to find healing as P. L. Travers did. You might do it so that your pain could help others. Or you might have another reason. No matter what you decide, it will be hard and I applaud your bravery.
Have you ever thought about writing about your real life? It doesn't have to be a memoir. Look at the way P. L. Travers wrote about her pain? A magical nanny who came to save her father. That's pretty powerful stuff. Fiction just rocks, doesn't it?