Write your memoir (even if only 10 people read it)

6.1.16



Sometimes it feels like the only memoirs that matter are the ones celebrities write. But this is not true and never will be as long as everyday people are around. Stories are people and people are stories. And there is so much transformative magic in the simple telling of a tale.

When I decided to write my Waldorf story I knew I had to get it out of me. I knew that it was going to be therapeutic in the way journaling and paying attention to your feelings are, but beyond that I didn’t really know how the book would affect me or any future readers.

One year later after I officially published it, I can say it feels good to have done it.

Not because I made a ton of money and became wildly famous beyond my biggest dreams, or even because I was recognized for my writing, in fact, I hardly did any marketing so it barely sold. I’m not even sure my friends really read it or liked it. Although, I got good feedback on Amazon. It’s okay though. I'm fine.

First of all, I knew my story wasn’t for everyone and not everyone was going to relate to the story of getting fired from a job that I thought I loved and wanted. But I wanted to write it anyway, for myself and for anyone else who could relate to it or was curious enough about Waldorf education.

Secondly, this isn’t the end. I feel like I’m just starting to figure out what I need to do for my next book and experiment with this book in terms of marketing. I feel braver, more confident and I learned a great deal from simply going through the process of writing, editing, creating a book cover and uploading it on Createspace + putting it on Amazon. Not to mention all the work that went into creating an audio version of {the missing teacher}. Yeah, it’s a lot of work.

The formation of a book is its own journey and if you decide to go the self-publishing route you will not be alone. You have to ask for help. And you have to learn a bunch of shit you probably didn’t sign up for, but hey, that’s life. I rather like the idea of failing and succeeding on my own terms, as well, no pressure to make sales and have the kind of social media reach that traditional publishers need.

Of course, it would be lovely to be “successful”, really really lovely, but I think for memoirists especially, writing down the bones (as Natalie Goldberg puts it) is about the process, the rite of passage, the personal story arc. There is such a sweet satisfaction in knowing you laid out your skeletons, slayed them or whatever and decided to move on. And then you fucking wrote about it! You helped yourself. You published it. You didn’t ask for permission. Or if you did, you still found another way. You’re finding another way, right?

You know, on the other blog, I wrote a post and was initially disappointed by the lack of comments. But then I thought about the one guy which the post resonated with. He shared a documentary that I hadn’t heard of and I stopped fussing over not hitting a homerun every damn time. One connection is better than none.

And when I started to blog {the missing teacher} the connections surprisingly started to roll in. Then when I published it, more surprises. Now, I don’t have a lot of connections (yet), but there is something to be said about starting small. It doesn’t make you small. It simply means you have room to grow, if that’s what you desire. It also means you have time for your connections and you appreciate them more deeply. These are good things, things we have a tendency to forget to appreciate.

So, write your memoir (even if only 10 people read it). Sink into the process, swim, play, hold your breath, blow bubbles, float and luxuriate in the flow. As far as I know, we only have one life, leave those regrets behind.

Have you written your memoir?



Hey-ya, my audiobook is available for free (or pay what you want) here. Or if you are interested in purchasing it on Amazon and sharing your thoughts, that would be wonderful, too! Thank you for reading.

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