Sharing your story, especially a personal memoir, with the world can be scary, especially if it includes parts that are embarrassing or don’t cast you or someone who hurt you in the best light. You might fear people will judge you, maybe even belittle you and ridicule you, and that you will regret making your story public. Welcome to the world of memoir authorship. Here are a few words of encouragement.
First, give yourself a pat on the back. It takes guts to be an author. These days they call it “grit.” Why? Because candid writing about one’s journey requires something that most people don’t possess or don’t want to possess and that is vulnerability. Vulnerability means exposing yourself—your weaknesses—to potential attack and harm. No one in their right mind invites attack or harm.
So does that mean vulnerable authors are in their wrong mind? Absolutely not. It means you have courage and faith the good that comes from your story (namely how it will benefit others) will outweigh any attack or harm that *might* come to you.
I emphasized the word “might” because despite the conspiracy theories your mind might have cooked up, there is no guarantee anyone is going to harshly judge your work, let alone attack and harm you for it—especially if it’s a “warts and all” testimony intended to help others avoid the same mistakes you have made in life. Only a cruel or insane person would criticize someone who has put their heart on their sleeve and exposed all of their weaknesses to help others. Yes, such people are out there, but really, the odds of them getting a hold of your book and deliberately trying to attack you for it are slim.
I emphasized the word “intended” because most people focus on an author’s intention. That is, in most cases readers only react in a negative way when they suspect the author’s intention is to put others down or prop themselves up… or lay a guilt burden on their readers.
In other words, in general, as the saying goes, you get what you give. If you give honest testimony intended to encourage others, you will often receive encouragement in return. However, if you give put-downs and bitter criticisms, there’s a good chance you will get the same in return.
That’s not to say there aren’t people out there who just want to watch the world burn. There certainly are such people, and whenever you put your heart out there, you always run the risk of attracting one or more of them to your “reviews” page. But the good news is, they will be the minority. If your intentions are pure and a good editor has edited your book, the majority of your reviews will be favorable—even from readers who did not fully relate to your story.
In my experience, the best thing you can do to ensure your story is positioned in the most encouraging and positive way possible, even if it’s a very heartbreaking or painful story to tell, is hire a high-quality editor like myself to help you.
A high-quality editor will have the super power to get in your mind, understand where you are coming from and your overarching message (every story has a single overarching message and unless it is clear and amplified, it will be lost on the reader), understand your target audience, and position your story so it is clear beyond a doubt that your motive is love and your purpose is to help others conquer the same or similar challenges you have conquered.
As an author, your job is to tell your story in the most honest way you possibly can and then muster up the courage and faith to share it with the world. The editor’s job is to take your brutally honest narrative and transform it into a uplifting and encouraging story that positions you as a leader and legitimate author. Most editors who can achieve these things charge thousands of dollars for their work. I charge only a fraction of what they charge because my editorial vocation is also my Christian mission.
Send me an email any time for a custom quote. I’d love to work with you to get your story published. I believe every human being has a beautiful story to tell, and my goal is to help as many people as possible share their stories.
Keep being courageous, having faith, and writing with a motive of love, and your breakthrough victory as an author is guaranteed.
Image: geralt on pixabay