Yesterday I attended a writing conference and was inspired in many ways–to write consistently, to develop my online presence as a writer, and to believe in my writing. I’ve been working on my memoir for a few years off and on; lately I’m on, and have a deadline of May to give the second draft to a professional editor. Exciting!
One of the most powerful messages yesterday came in a memoir workshop led by Lee Blum, author of Table in the Darkness: A Healing Journey Through an Eating Disorder. Her moving story is about growing up in a family where she did not feel good enough, about her struggles with, and ultimate recovery from, anorexia. When beginning to write, she said yesterday, you must find your why. Why are you telling your story?
My why for my memoir, at first, was to tell people about having a strange heart attack when I was just 38. But I have figured out over time it really isn’t about that at all. My why is for those living with chronic health conditions, about living fully and completely, with faith and hope. If I can help one person with their process of healing, it will have been worth it.
Telling our stories to make money, or for the shock value, or to please others, will ring hollow. It won’t work. In life, as in writing, If we tell our stories for the wrong reasons, lack of authenticity will shine. I hope that my why for the memoir shows through in my life. I want to listen to people, and be empathetic to those going through difficult times. Perhaps one of the reasons why I live with a chronic health condition is to help others.
What is your why? Not just for writing or telling your story. But what motivates you as you go through your life? How has your why changed as you have aged, or as you have experienced new things?
The cute little white typewriter in the photo was a gift from my lovely aunt, Georgette. She said she thought of me when she saw it, and knew I needed it. I love this little typewriter and its simple but potent message. This post is my 50th since starting this blog a year and a half ago. Thank you for reading, for your feedback, and support!
Make it a good week!