“ It feels so fraught to talk about this because writing is not supposed to be therapeutic. A sort of analogy has occurred to me. People ask me, was writing Fun Home therapeutic? And I feel like, yes it was, but that’s kind of like asking somebody if swimming the English Channel was a good workout for them. That’s not why they did it — of course it was a good workout. Both of these books have entailed transformative processes. You can’t engineer or will yourself to undergo a transformation, but that’s what both of these books have involved. I kind of set out on a journey, and I know that that’s what I have to do, and it’s sort of a high wire act in that respect. Especially with this book about my mother, when I had a book deal for it, I couldn’t really promise that I was going to figure this out in three years or whatever my initial contract was for. And in fact I didn’t, it took me a lot longer.
Eight minutes with Alison Bechdel on her motivations, insecurities, and more:
What motivates me? Deep insecurity. I do think to some extent it is an incompleteness or a neurosis on my part… [H]onestly that’s why anyone pursues any avenue of creativity — it’s because they’re trying to get something that they’re missing.
See also Bechdel’s feelings on seeing a finished copy of Fun Home for the first time (” I’m deeply pleased, but not elated, for some reason. I feel a bit like Mr. Earbrass…”), her discovery that “the actual documentary truth” recorded in the childhood journals she consulted while writing the book “was almost always richer and more surprising” than the way she remembered things happening, and her validation of your internet addiction.