I wonder if God places people in our paths or if He lets us wander and whoever we meet, He’ll use that situation to help us grow?
In my case, I found a great “Book Coach” who specialises in Memoir which is great because that’s what I’m writing (woohoo). Annie lives in Colorado and has a cute American accent. She comes across as warm and caring. She’s sensitive but super intelligent and knows so much about writing and the best way to make my Memoir sellable and popular with readers.
We had our first ‘meeting’ (just talking online) yesterday for a little over an hour.
I thought this was going to be so easy, you know. I think because I’ve read, agonised over, edited and re-edited my manuscript within an inch of it’s (or mine? or both?) life that I thought it was good to go. I’ve worked SO HARD on it for SO LONG that I thought Annie would just make a few changes here and there and we’d be ready to approach publishers in like…6 months? Maybe less?
Show’s how bloody big-headed I am about this. Lol.
Annie went through my Memoir manuscript with knowledgable eyes and said it would take us A YEAR to get it into shape where it’s ready to send out to Publishers.
Annie asked a lot of great questions about the chapters I wrote and has highlighted a few things I would not have ever considered had I tried to do this all on my own. Annie asked “Why did you take me there?” on certain chapters and asked how I want my story to “flow”. Annie asked why I included the chapters I included and did I feel confident with them in the order they’re in.
Well…I did before our meeting, yeah. Now I feel like burning it all to the ground!
When she and I went through the structure of a successful Memoir together in our first meeting, I saw that my Memoir jumps about all over the place and 3 chapters were written purely for comic relief (I guess I wanted to give the reader a breather from all the heavy stuff I was writing about) and didn’t actually belong in my story, so shortly after our ‘meeting’ ended, those chapters got deleted.
I truly believe humour is key when going through a rough situation. If you can find a way to laugh – or at the very least find something to be grateful for in spite of the pain – then you can pretty much go through anything and it won’t kill you…so it was hard to let those funny, cute chapters go…but talking with Annie about the theme of my memoir and the flow of chapters to tell a rounded story meant that they had to be taken out of my Memoir.
Annie gave me ‘homework’ which I was really excited about because I love being a student, bless me. My homework was to read through my manuscript and highlight in one colour (I went with bright yellow – a happy colour) “4-5 sections you are very proud of and feel confident in presenting to a publisher“. At the time, I thought “Oh man, how will I only choose 4 or 5? My whole book is amazing“.
Boy, did I learn how wrong I was.
I was also asked to highlight in another colour (I would have gone with blue if I had followed this step) 4-5 sections of my book that I felt could use a little work/re-writing. I found out as I read over my manuscript after our first coaching session that EVERYTHING needed work. Every single chapter! OMG!!!
It was like falling from a great height and hitting my ass. Hard.
Ooft. The humbling hurts, guys.
Something I thought was spot on – is so far from being complete that the finish line has now moved 1000km’s away and I’m wondering if I have the endurance for it – it’s so far away now!
Whyyyyy did I think writing my Memoir was a good idea?
I literally want to erase it ALL and message Annie “Forget it, I give up”.
The 4-5 sections highlighted in bright yellow are worth the read. They make me want to try to keep going, to keep thinking, keep digging and keep writing so that IN A YEAR FROM NOW (A YEAR!!!) I can highlight the entire book in yellow.
That’s the new goal.
My problem is how do I rewrite something so close to my heart? This is my life so it’s incredibly personal and it’s hard for me to stand back and view it differently.
I’ll research some docs on Google about Memoir writing and try to find some talks on it on YouTube to get a new perspective.
I’m back on square one again and I hate it, guys.