I have some fun and exciting news. I met with a Publisher last week, and they definitely want to publish my memoir. The full manuscript is due in June. While the rough draft is done, it’s still a lot of work to pull together the first draft (a proper manuscript); got to hop to it! I am grateful this is going to be done.
When I really began writing it, I had only been out a couple of years back in 2016-17, so I was at a place of not really understanding how all the disparate points of my roller-coaster life connected. I chose to write it in a memoir style because daily journalling wasn’t connecting the dots for me. Daily journaling is processing the day; writing a memoir tells a life story and has to be constructed that way. So as you will eventually read my story, I was the first reader to go, “whoa… *&!#! That’s how all that came together!” It’ll be a journey for both of us!
Yeah, I cuss in it, too. It was genuinely cathartic in the most positive ways to write it all down with a free vocabulary.
I wrote the rough draft thinking that maybe an heir down the generations might find it in a box and want to read it. I believed that the main point of writing it was for my own benefit. Seriously, I had read so many self-published (really bad in all the ways) memoirs and knew I didn’t want to go that route. I am self-aware enough to know I need the skill of good content (for flow and understanding) and grammar editor.
Also, my favorite books are memoirs (really, really good in all the ways) by published authors like Augusten Burroughs and David Sedaris. Add in the humor of Erma Bombeck’s books and the mystical amongst the natural elements in Toni Morrison’s writings. So, with those influences, you can see that the standards I have to even consider publishing my own story are pretty darn high. So I didn’t think it may ever happen. But, the impulse and path would be made clear if it was supposed to.
Again, I hadn’t really thought much of actually having the memoir published. It has lived in one of my cloud accounts online for five years untouched. Then Pray Away happened. All the hullabaloo around it reminded me of the memoir and that I probably should see if I could get it published. I saw so many people on social media talking about how Exodus ended and their alleged role in “being a key player.” Some were even talking about me as if they knew me better than I do. While I have zero interest in chasing them down and correcting their version of history, I assume the best of their intentions, trust the Universe, and trust their followers/readers to be able to discern the truth. So, while others share what they experienced and know as best they can, I need to share my story and reality.
While doing interviews and at the premiere of Pray Away, I met quite a few people connected to publishers and publishing houses in various ways. I asked all of them for leads and advice on pitching my memoir to a publisher. I have contributed to books in the past but was never the person pitching the whole project. One of several people I asked led me to the current publisher, and while we are at the beginning of the process, I feel like my memoir has found its publishing home. SO many synchronous messages and timing have happened. I feel good about all of it at this point.
Before the meeting last week, I had several dreams spanning about three nights. I was at a place I lived in the past in each dream. All of them were places that had terrible memories attached and experienced that helped form and shape me. Yet, in the dreams, in every home, boxes of journals were packed up to move. They were the only things left. As I drove off with all my memories, with all that was worth salvaging, a current good friend (different person in each dream) would be on the porch happily waving me off.
My dreams are always informative. Some ascribe it to God or my own subconscious trying to tell me something. I believe God made my subconscious so … there. Regardless, since each dream was different, but the symbolism and joyous tone were the same, I know that what I was doing was taking the good and worth saving out of the bad and moving into truly living out my truth in the present. This memoir is my moving van. My truth has finally found its home with my husband and family. It’s time to share my story with the hope of encouraging others with hopefully life-giving lessons learned with a dash of humor.
We are at the very beginning of the publishing process, but I have no doubt an epic adventure is right in front of me, and the journey has begun.