Each time I sit to write a scene for my memoir, Accidental Soldier: What My Service in the Israel Defense Forces Taught Me about Faith, Courage and Love, I have to battle a thousand different voices running me over.
Don't you know it's dangerous subjecting your family like this?
Don't you know that your book might be met with negative criticism?
Then the ultimate question that turns me over, "Why are you even writing your memoir?" which of course, stops me in my tracks.
I turn around as if to face my inner voice and say, "Now look here. You are messing up with my life. You are sabotaging me. I've worked too hard for this. It's not about you." then I get into the writing scenes.
I'm working with a wonderful editor who's book savvy of the memoir market. She coaches writers who have to deal with the inner critic. But I'm on my own figuring out the pieces of my hero's journey and how they support a larger story arc, and in-between, there's the ego who doesn't want me to step into my truth.
I've got a husband who wakes up to my yelps when I finally understand how the crass and obnoxious Canadian Israeli Defense Force solder named Jake pushed me out of my comfort zone by challenging my boundaries in the middle of the Arava desert.
As writers, we are inextricably connected to our stories and the players of our stories. But what if we took a few steps back just to honor that story space? What if we just wrote for writing's sake without getting too attached to outcomes and what people think?
As Mona Gable said on my radio show, "You can't worry about what people and other family members think. Otherwise, you'll be stuck forever trying to write your memoir." that's good advice.
I blog about my memoir using the advice I give writers and memoirists they've received through my six day e-course, "Blog Your Memoir." Sometimes I have to stop and get into the right mindset so I can start taking my own advice.
All these steps help you focus on the story and by virtue of blogging, and writing your story, you've got the making's of a hero's journey. I absolutely refuse to give into the thought that writers do not have a hero's journey. If we've been through a traumatic experience or an experience that has shook us up, we are left with the words to capture the feeling of that experience.
Writing a memoir is not the ME memoir genre; it's about owning your story. Yes, you're the one writing it and it involves you as a character. From a writing point of view, your readers need to be impacted from it from the start. Once you start owning your story, your readers will be impacted from the start.
It was never about you. It's about them. Your readers.