Writing takes faith, especially if we writers are writing to be read. Like most artists, we are prone to second-guessing ourselves. Do we really have enough talent to make our work understood and appreciated by our audience? Have we chosen the right subject? Are we exposing ourselves to ridicule or worse? The list goes on. In order to put pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard) and keep at it until the work is as complete and perfect as we can get it, we have to have faith that our efforts will prove worthwhile. This is particularly true of a memoir, and even more true of a divorce memoir which involves laying bare our foibles and triumphs in a way that will engage our readers.
I'm not speaking in the abstract here; I'm talking about myself. After all these years of untold hours of work, after tearing my hair out over how to tell the backstory, after being told by a couple of Beta readers that my efforts are seriously flawed, I have moments when I wonder if all this time, physical and psychic energy, and money (yes, it can take money for writing education, including publications, workshops and classes, writing organization memberships, and employing the talents of professional editors) I've poured into my story have been wasted.
The assurance. I'm referring to came unsolicited ... out of the blue as they say. My current husband and I were doing business with a young woman, and the subject of my writing came up, She wanted to know what I was working on, so I told her the title of the memoir. She kept pressing me to tell her more, so I gave her a brief overview of how God blessed me during my tough decision to divorce my husband of twenty-five years. She revealed that she is now a single mom, and we ended up by telling her how we conducted our courtship God's way, which is a piece in the book. She took notes and urged me to get my story published. This is just what I needed to hear. So I write on, newly encouraged about the worth of this project.
Note: If you're in the process of writing a memoir, I'd love to hear about your challenges and break throughs. Or if you'd like to recommend a memoir to me and my readers, I hope you'll do so.
My up-coming memoir God, the Devil, and Divorce: A Memoir of Loss, Faith, and Healing Wrestling with the prospect of leaving my husband of twenty-five years, I was caught between the conservative Christian view of divorce and what I believed God was telling me.