Your Memoir Owns Your Book
“I didn’t really know what my memoir was about until I finished my first draft,” author Karen Walker has confessed about her award-nominated Following the Whispers. I had a similar experience with Acts of Surrender.
Your job, yes, is to tell your story; but it’s to tell your story as the memoir-book would have you tell it.
At the same time, be aware that this book that is your memoir is a trickster: It will do whatever it takes to get the ultimate story out of you, even if there’s trickery involved along the way. Karen Walker began her book thinking she was writing one story. The memoir that emerged was more insightful and compelling than anything she could have planned or imagined.
Let go all preconceptions, assumptions and expectations about what your memoir is or should be, and trust that it will reveal its true nature to you in the writing of it. Let your memoir have its own life through you, and trust that your memoir’s innate wisdom will weave the story that will best serve it, serve you and serve your readers. Surrender to that innate wisdom. Get out of your memoir’s way (get out of your way) and let the story tell itself through you.
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