I want to learn all I can, live as wisely as I can, and savor every moment on the journey.
Last week during my “blogging vacation,” I had a great idea for one of the projects I’m working on—the memoir.
Let me back up and explain just a bit. First: why am I writing a memoir in the first place? Isn’t that kind of arrogant, or something? Well, maybe it’s arrogant, I don’t know, but I don’t mean it to be. Along with less important desires related to practicing/furthering my writing career, I’m writing a memoir mainly out of the desire to tell my story (and I have had some interest in it—I mean, from people who might want to read my story). (There’s a short synopsis on this page, which I wrote about in my short-short post “It’s Time to Speak.”)
I’ve gone back and forth about that, though—is it too soon to tell my story; do I maybe not have enough perspective on it yet? On the other hand, will I ever have “enough” perspective? Also, if I don’t tell my story, what if I burst from the increasing desire to speak out? And what if my story could encourage and help others? These last three questions generally convince me to proceed with writing my story.
But lately I’d lost steam in writing it, because I looked back at what I’d written so far and pretty much hated it. It wasn’t honest enough. I saw that I’d been holding myself at some distance from the reader through weak attempts at descriptiveness and humor; my heart was quite hidden. And it wasn’t like a few word tweaks would take care of it: the whole structure was wrong. I was going to have to rewrite it—or else abandon it altogether.
But then last week, I had a brainwave. I don’t need to rewrite it—it’s already written! I’ve kept journals continuously since I was in elementary school; notebooks were the place for me to pour out my heart and sort through my thoughts. By going through them and selecting certain entries for their plot value (and taking out all the mundane stuff), and then typing those excerpted entries into the manuscript document, I’ve been creating a much better book, in journal-entry form, that engages the reader and shows my real heart without my imposed retrospective narration. WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THIS BEFORE?
The final result may still never reach many readers, whether I end up securing a publishing deal or just self-publishing it. But for whoever does eventually read it, even if it’s only my kind best friend, I think it will make for a much more enjoyable read now!