A huge thanks to Liberty from 'Word Wanderings' for my second blog award. I post a bit about me on this blog, but I haven't really posted much about my first book. Some of you might have read the post I wrote on how that memoir came to be. But I have many other concerns about the delicate art of writing what could be termed a 'misery memoir'. So here are ten honest thoughts, questions and worries about my life in the process of writing my memoir.
- Does it matter? I mean does it really matter to anyone other than me that I have written a memoir about my abusive childhood and coming to terms with that pain? I constantly battle with the thought that maybe memoirs are only relevant to their authors. Deep down I don't believe that, but still... the thoughts are there.
- My memoir is non-conventional. I created a metaphorical character that I named Beast who I used to confront and deal with the pain. The book an interwoven story between the struggles of the inner world of these 'characters' and my life in the 'real world' above. I sometimes worry that my work doesn't fit 'type' well. How non-conventional can a memoir be and still have a chance at publication?
- Obviously the work is non-fiction. I worry about not being believed. I worry that my parents might try to sue me. I worry about my father's reactions. I worry about libel and vetting the manuscript and well, I just worry...
- I am brave enough to stand behind my words, but I feel for my mother who may not be. Even though at the moment she is in full support of my writing.
- It is not a pretty read. Is there room enough in this world for another 'heavy' read? Will it shed light or just lift the lid on more shadows? I am hoping for 'shedding light' but there may also be a place for 'shadow shifting.'
- Is there a publisher out there with the 'balls' to publish it? Is there an agent who would champion such raw and intense writing? There are strong Christian themes and not always favourable view points about God and the Church. The book has the potential to ruffle feathers. Actually, I rather enjoy feather ruffling...
- How do you even go about querying a memoir? My understanding is that you query it like a novel. Yet it is nothing like a novel in many ways. And in other ways it is exactly like one. This is a HUGE learning curve for me.
- Do I write a synopsis or a book proposal or both? Memoirs seem to fall into the large crack between novels and self-help books. It's not a book of facts and figures and I don't offer any ten step plans. Just the chance to see how someone else travelled the road out from hell and hurting. Really, it's a story. It just happens to be a true one.
- My memoir is currently in a massive competition. And frankly, I think it would be an act of God if it even came close to being short-listed. I think the work may have gone out too unrefined and a bit early. But it's out there. I have a couple of big fans of my writing. My editor and my counsellor, but I am interested to see how it fairs in the world beyond them.
- I am anything but precious about my writing. My counsellor has a copy of the manuscript and has (with my permission) shared the work with others. I find their heart felt praise hard to accept. I deal better with criticism. I know, I know!
I am passing this award along and challenge the following amazing blog authors to share their own honest insights about whatever the heck they feel insightful about :)
Wendy from 'On Words and Upwards' (here's to reaching 'upwards.')
Melody from 'Newly Minted Mrs.' (remember being 'newly minted'?!)
Gary Corby from 'A Dead Man fell from the Sky' (very cool title)
Sherrinda from 'A Wanna Be Writer.' (I wanna be too)
T. Anne from 'White Platonic Dreams.' (wish my dreams were white)
There are so many other amazing authors and inspiring writers I follow, but you all have this award!
That's it for me and 'list posts' for a while. Sorry, I know I have been flogging them a bit lately.
Check back for an upcoming author interview. I will post details tomorrow.