I have wanted for years to write a memoir. I endured violence all my life, first at the hands of my preacher father, then from my husband. A death threat finally got me out.
I want to write a book about these experiences and how I overcame them. Therapy is helping me understand the battered woman’s syndrome and how to overcome these character traits to become a stronger and better person. I want to use these experiences to help other people overcome their fear of abuse and rejection.
Outwardly I appear to have a successful life, with a career and a son in his 20s. Most people have no clue I have a problem, since I’m good at covering up my problems in public. Do you think this is a book idea that is worthy of pursuing? Thanks for reading my e-mail and offering advice.
I’m so glad you’re out of those situations, and that you’re recovering from them. Congratulations on making those very difficult choices.
As far as writing about your experiences, I think you should do two things.
Set aside a few hours each week and get going. Just write stream of consciousness, ideas, scenes, snippets of memory, outlines, whatever. You’ve got to start writing SOMETHING or you won’t know if you even want to do this.
It’s an extremely demanding genre in which to be published. The bar is high because you have to know fiction storytelling techniques while sticking to a true story. And you have to avoid getting bogged down in endless navel-gazing. You have to learn to write your own story in scenes, like in a novel, rather than a simple narrative of your recollections. And you’ll be competing with millions of others who have a story to tell.
Start by reading my posts on memoir, and pay special attention to the books that are recommended for those wanting to write memoir (in the resources post). Spend six months to a year in this process of studying and learning, while you’re also beginning to write.
Eventually you’ll decide if what you’re writing is a journal that will help you heal; or if you really want to pursue publication. I can’t make that decision for you, and you can’t make it either until you’ve begun this process.
All best to you!