|Posted on February 16, 2017 at 11:30 AM|
With over 30,000 copies of The Art of Trapeze downloaded, I have a few things to share with you about writing a memoir.
Top 10 Thoughts On Writing A Memoir, Putting It Out Into The World, and Realizing People Read It
1. You'll only feel good about what you write if it comes from your heart, which feels like a big-fat-giant risk at first. However, there are enough ego-based books out there, full of platitudes and typical outcomes and mainstream advice so trust that what you authentically share is relatable to YOUR peeps (not everyone, just YOUR peeps who are on the same wave length).
2. You'll hate the book a million times before you hit publish on Amazon. It will be in the trash, the gutter, and heavily edited many times as you wrestle with what to say. The creative process is never dull.
3. Private messages from readers will touch you. Discussing depression, success, love, adventure, emotional vulnerabilities, and fears on paper will push you deeper into yourself. It will all sound crazy and lonely at times, until you receive unexpected feedback, such as:
"Molly, This book is going to stay with me for a while. Thank you for its gifts."
"I have experienced many of the things you shared in your memoir, but as a male, it isn't socially acceptable for me to put it out there."
"Your words inspired me to heal something I've been avoiding. I also shared this book with my best friend, I hope you don't mind."
4. An author never minds if you share their book with your best friends.
5. It will be the worst book in the world to some reviewers. Bad reviews are part of being a public artist; it comes with the territory. (Personal attacks, unfortunately, are standard these days for authors. I have seen a lot of slander and mean things written for numerous memoirs. Readers are smart; they see through this when they are your peeps.)
6. It will be the best book in the world to other reviewers. Just do not tell these people about Hemingway, Angelou, Thoreau, Joyce, Theroux, Whitman, Kingsolver, Harper Lee, Dr. Seuss, etc.
7. Neither being the best nor the worst will be true. You'll just be the best writer you could have been at that time.
8. With a memoir, your children will see the truth of who you were back when you were young, adventurous, foolish, unrestrained, and open to the world. Perhaps you will have forgotten this version of yourself, too, until you catch a brief glimpse of the book cover somewhere out in the world.
9. At the end of your life, you'll be proud that you took a shot and contributed a small fraction of a small life story to the larger whole of storytelling.
10. Take the risk to go deeper. Memoirs have the power to intimately connect with a reader. Honor this opportunity in the best way you can. Life is a grand adventure, so why not put yourself out there just a bit more, trusting we have more in common than we realize.