Are you ready to write your memoir means finding the courage to act imperfectly when deciding whether a life event or trauma is too recent to write about.
“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.”Franklin D. Roosevelt
From the Ink Mailbag: “How do I know when enough time has passed after a sensitive life event to be able to write about it objectively?”
This is a great memoir question, whether you’re writing a traditional memoir or simply featuring the “memoir element” in your work.
First, how objectively can any of us write about a personal event that we lived or are still living? This is true no matter how much time has passed. In fact, the more time that passes, the less objective you might end up being due to natural memory distortion (for those of you delaying your future books, waiting for future clarity).
The real question is, how do you know when you’re emotionally ready to write about a sensitive story from your life?
Like a filmmaker, how clearly can you see the events that happened without the lens becoming clouded by fresh expressions of trauma? Has enough time passed where lessons and insights have begun to emerge? These ideas don’t have to be perfectly formed. They can be as simple as a gut instinct, a feeling that you have learned something from this experience that might be worth sharing.
I’ve seen too many authors spend too much time waiting for the perfect time to start writing their books. They’re waiting for some sort of perfect clarity that might not come until they start writing their book.
I am just one opinion, one of many memoir writing professionals out there who can help you write your memoir. There is no objectively correct answer here, you are the sole deciding vote in this decision. Listen to your heart, be brave, and don’t get stuck out of fear of taking imperfect action. Sometimes that’s the most effective type you can take.
Still struggling with the question of whether the timing is right to move forward and write your memoir idea? And beyond that, about the steps involved in writing a memoir that readers want to read? Let’s chat!