Writing My Memoir

English: Typewriter "Hermes" Deutsch...

So the idea of writing my memoir has been tumbling around in my mind for a long time now. Having a tendency to cram ten lifetimes into one, I’ve experienced so many things in my life, good as well as some not-so-good (aka: mistakes), that I would like to share in the hopes of helping others get through their trials and tribulations. Even if it’s just one person I am able to reach. And even if it’s simply by letting that one person know that someone out there has experienced what they’re going through, understands them, and has overcome.

Research I’ve done revealed numerous articles which advise that in order for your memoir to be effective and worth reading, one cannot sensor what is written for fear of what people will think. That the writer cannot fear what the reader will think of them or anyone else, and the writer cannot worry about upsetting other people.

 Pen and Paper

I need to say I struggle with that concept. That being said, maybe I’m reading into those sentiments all wrong. While I don’t worry what the reader will think of me, I don’t believe it is my place, writing memoir or not, to tell someone else’s private story, even if it directly affected my life and how I grew from that connection or grew tired trying to overcome the obstacle from that connection. I would like to believe that there is a difference between writing the truth about an incident, even if someone else is involved, and throwing another under the bus. That it is possible to tell my story even where it involves others, and not hurt them in the process of telling that story.

As I finalize the last details in publishing my book, The Inheritance, and begin outlining my memoir, I think I will insert the word “Pray” at the top of every note card I prepare for each writing session. A reminder to pray and ask for God’s guidance to write the truth, to help those I can with my story, and to keep information with a potential to hurt anyone at all confidential and out of the story. Even if it’s just the name. To always remember that making the story interesting and credible means not hurting another. And that if hurting another is what it takes to make a sale, it’s no different than selling one’s soul. May my soul always belong to God.

All is Grace.

I Am a Writer

photo (15)There, I said it.  But those words do not come easy.

I don’t know why it’s so hard to admit to being a writer.  To be able to own it.   It almost feels like arrogance as I fight to make that claim out loud.  Claiming to be a writer sounds like I’m admitting to being good.  Published.  And even though I have, enough to be called a writer?  And what is the required amount of  published articles before one can be called a writer?

It’s not hard to admit I’m a runner.  I run a lot.  Not marathons, but I run.  Therefore, I am a runner.

Or that I’m a Christian.  Now that’s a title I wear with joy.  Being a Christian is a fundamental part of who I am.  I’m not a perfect Christian by any means, in fact a constant work in progress, daily.  But I am a Christian none-the-less.

A person who loves books and reads a lot is not only a reader, but frequently labeled an avid reader.  Someone who takes a lot of pictures is a photographer.  Maybe not professionally, but still a photographer, yes?  Or a person who draws or paints is an artist, true?photo (19)

In fact, if it were professionally, it would be a job.  A vocation versus an avocation.  But that’s all that would change.  That wouldn’t change the fact that the writing is happening.

Writing may not be considered a justifiable activity to non-writing folk, especially if a financial outcome isn’t the reason it’s being pursued, which makes it critical to have other writers in your inner circle.  If your writing makes the difference in even one life, then it’s justifiable.  Worthwhile.  A gift to behold.

Writing is what brings me peace and joy.  Well, usually.  And it’s something I practice and work at daily.  That makes me a writer.  And I can own that because it’s what I do.  A lot.

I am a writer.  And being able to claim that feels good.

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All is Grace.

Transition From Planning to Doing

It comes too easy for me to be in a perpetual state of planning. My day. An idea for a book. How to maximize my ability to serve. How to arrange my work area to best accommodate the reading or writing I “plan” to do. What I can do to be a good friend, good wife, good mother, good child of God. How to begin a blog. Oftentimes I find myself too exhausted from the planning phase to move into actively doing what I’ve spent so much time planning. The underlying reason? Sheer fear. Fear of not performing to a level that meets the expectations I  place on myself, expectations that rise above anything I would ever expect from anyone else. Also, fear of failure. After all, I can’t fail in the planning phase, right? Wrong!

We fail when we don’t act according to the gifts God has so generously blessed us with. I still plan my day, but I’ve learned to be more realistic with how many hours are in a day and strive to use those hours wisely. Service work has been chosen by what God has so graciously placed on my heart, a passion for children. Had I not transitioned out of the planning phase, I wouldn’t have attempted NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this past November, creating the first draft of a novel that’s been burning within me for so long. It would have still been a thought. And I wouldn’t have began this blog, something I’ve spent far too long planning so it would be perfect. But I’ve learned to be a little more gentle with myself. Perfection is no longer a burden I place on myself. Doing my best is good enough. And as long as I do my best, I cannot fail.