One of the reasons I wrote my memoir When God Says No was to capture my experience of grief and to let it live on the page instead of in my head. What I didn't expect were the gifts that came as a result of writing it.
Part of the grieving process is the need to heal and to move on but, so often, we are deeply afraid of forgetting what happened. Even more than that, we are afraid we might forget the person who has died.
Writing my memoir let me find a way forward in my grief. It also gifted me a way to resolve the tension that exists between what I call, the guilt of forgetting and the torment of remembering.
But, those weren’t the only gifts that came out of writing my memoir. Writing my memoir also gifted me purpose. Not only did I have a constructive way to engage my grief and the difficulties in my life, but I also found a purposeful way to write.
I had been on the journey of unearthing my love for writing for a number of years, but it had merely stayed a hobby. A hobby that often scared me and one from which I, at times, retreated. I lacked confidence as a writer. And I lacked purpose, I didn’t know what to write.
Was there a novelist in me? I seriously doubted that.
Should I remain a journaler? Somehow, that didn’t seem enough – not anymore.
Was I just kidding myself that I was a writer? Once upon a time that would’ve seemed more real to me, but now I knew there was a writer lurking in me – a writer that needed a voice. But which one?
And that was the gift of writing my memoir.
It gave me my writer’s voice: the words and the storyline I otherwise seemed to lack. It gave me focus and direction. It gave me an end goal. It gave me confidence.
I may not have felt I could tell other stories, but I knew I could tell this one.
Writing my memoir gave me a writing purpose, and it was all pure gift.
Is writing calling your name? Do you write but don’t really know what to do with it? Or what purpose it may serve?
Have you ever considered writing your story? It might be difficult and heart-wrenching. Or it might be humorous and heartwarming. It depends on your story, your purpose for writing it, and your writing style.
I would love to encourage you on your journey of writing your story. Here are three things I recommend you do to get started or to keep going:
- Let’s stay connected through my blogs. Subscribe to this blog's RSS feed using http://brendasmitjames.myshopify.com/blogs/all-about-memoir.atom.
- If you haven't already, request my FREE eBook, ‘7 Key Ingredients to Writing a Great Memoir, One that Others will Want to Read.’ Scroll to the bottom of the page, fill in your email address, and press ‘Send it to me!’
- Look at your calendar and set regular writing dates with yourself, daily if you can. They don’t have to be long – 15 minutes a day will do. It may take some practice to become a daily writer, but once you hone the discipline of daily writing, there are more unexpected gifts that will come your way.
Let's write our stories!
You can find links to my three most recent blog posts right here.
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