I’ve been working on a memoir for nearly ten years. Well, it could even be more than ten years, who knows? Certainly not me - I’m just the writer.
Once upon a time (a couple of years ago), I thought I had it nearly finished and sent it off to a publisher. How naïve was that?
Later, after hearing not a word in reply, I worked more seriously on tidying it up and adding and subtracting parts until I felt it was almost good enough to be read by someone. I engaged the services of a literary agent, who, after reading it and correcting a few errors, told me that I had a good ‘story’ but that it is very hard to have a memoir published nowadays, unless you are a famous person – with some sort of notoriety gained from wherever or whatever.
Well, I have dismissed the idea of trying to gain some notoriety by some foul deeds – or other, so have accepted that I must either work harder and better or take on board (don’t you love that term, ‘take on board’?) the advice from the literary agent and self-publish the memoir – just enough copies for immediate family members to have and to hold.
Not the greatest idea, as most of the family members already know the ‘story’ and, also, several of them no doubt harbour a different version of the events I have tried to relate.
So, to cut a long story short (literally) I have been working again – this time for the LAST time on the memoir - and ‘killing my babies’ as they say in the trade and ridding my work of parts that I love (my ‘babies’) and attempting to make it more interesting. (I’d love to add some really inventive fiction along the way, but then it wouldn’t really be classed as a memoir, would it?)
I am re-reading Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ and it has spurred me on once more. He was advised very early on in his writing career to ‘get rid of all unnecessary words’.
I am trying to do that!
Earlier this year my memoir was over 70,000 words long. It is now 66,605 words.
I have edited up to page 105 out of 282 pages, so that’s progress, I suppose.
As I said, this is my last ditch effort to get it right – or as right as I can, with my limitations.
Perhaps one day I might self-publish it, just for myself, so that all this blood, sweat and tears – and brain strain - will not have been for nought.
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.