My manuscript sits in a drawer. The next draft sits in my documents occasionally being edited and added. I guess I need to get back to writing my book, but it will take getting to the heart of the pain.
This process of writing a book has been going on for years, but I don’t know how to finish it.
How do you sum up your life in a few chapters or even a book? So much happens to us that we can’t possibly tell it all. What parts do we tell? What parts are significant? For the writer, it depends somewhat on whether the book in question is an autobiography or memoir, but for the inner man or woman, it is much more.
A memoir is not an autobiography. It is more like a glimpse of a section of your life where you pour truth on the page.
The revelation for me is that my book is a memoir, but I have been trying to cover too many things at the expense of the moment in time that prompted the book. So, I need to get back to the meat of the story, the heart of the pain.
I need to refocus and figure out what I want to say. While the process is yielding a book that I can be proud of, is proving much more difficult than I ever imagined. One day though, my rewrite will be emotional honesty and truth as much as I can tell it.
For the aspiring writer, I want to encourage you to begin. When I started writing it all down, my memoir wasn’t a book at all. It was daily therapy.
Over time it became more in depth therapy leading me through some hard times and self discovery that I could barely deal with. However difficult, it has become a coming of age story and a love story. It is a “facing the middle age crisis”, triumph over illness and death, and going through divorce and living through it, book.
But, I continually ask myself what parts to keep, where to focus?
When I began pouring out of my life in 2005, I started to remember so much about the past; Memories of my wonderful family, some not so good memories of painful times, and a release of the pain of losing my parents and so many friends. As I write and rewrite still, I relive the best and worst of my life. It isn’t easy.
I think I had been trying to outrun my life, fill it with so much that I wouldn’t have to think. But, thankfully, the revelation of perspective and hindsight has been life changing. All the solitude forced me to confront it and let it go.
With time, the process is ongoing and it is still cathartic, but even better, my life long dream of becoming a writer manifested itself. With a working manuscript and this second, more professional blog, I feel like an author. I am a writer.
Now that the memoir/journal/therapy/story/art is truly a book, I have as long as I want to take. Unfinished, unpublished, but an incredible gift to myself. Meanwhile, I am writing every day and still life coaching myself and whoever else wants to read.
So the next time someone asks, “When will your book be finished?” I will answer, “When I am done telling the story in a way that encourages me and will reach people. When I have written the truth in a readable way, it will be finished.”