FIGHT FOR YOUR WRITE
Don’t let self-doubt or criticism destroy your passion to write.
Over the years of working with clients who have written a memoir, auto-biography, semi-autobiographical novel or their first manuscript, I often hear this: ‘Is my story worth telling?’ ‘Is it a load of rubbish?’ ‘Should I give up?’ ‘Am I wasting my time?’
If I were a sycophant I would give an obsequious response, ‘Oh, no, I think it’s wonderful,’ but I’m not one for giving false praise. However, I am mindful and respectful of the effort people put into their writing.
I am of the view that if you have a story inside you, record it any way you can, whether you type it, handwrite it, dictate it on your phone or a recording device (each of these methods have been used by clients). It might take hours, days, weeks, months or years, but record it you must.
You might write a memoir as a cathartic or healing exercise, or perhaps you want to impart a successful strategy or have a particular expertise that is educational or informative. Perhaps you’re an incredibly imaginative or moving storyteller who wishes to share your tales and entertain others, or you might want to record your whole life or a particular snapshot of time to pass on to future generations, whether it be your family or the wider community.
Only a fraction of the millions of books produced each year are bestsellers. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big, aiming to become a bestselling author (bearing in mind that writing talent alone is rarely enough these days; unless you’re already ‘famous’, you also need to be a marketer extraordinaire). Most of us, however, are happy to complete our project, edit and proofread it (ideally, of course, you’ll have it professionally edited and proofread J), and publish it. This might entail approaching a literary agent, traditional publishers, self-publishing – or perhaps having a few copies printed to share with loved ones. One of my clients is having 15 copies of her memoir produced in hardback to give to her children and grandchildren as a Christmas present. How special is that?
What I am saying is it is getting the story OUT of you and recording it that’s important. And if you ever doubt that your story is worth telling, think of Anne Frank. Over 30 million copies of her diary have been sold, and it has been translated into 67 languages. She said:
‘I know I can write … but… it remains to be seen whether I really have talent.’ *