Someone asked me not too long ago about my process when it came to writing my first book. For those who don’t know – my first book was 100% nonfiction.
The other up-and-coming writer asked about how they should decide what they can include and what to toss out. I told them it depends on your goal for the book. Who is your audience? Who do you want to read this book? It’s important to look into that first. Once you do this it falls into place what makes sense to include. No one has to include every minuscule detail of their life. It takes up too many pages and it’s boring.
The meat needs to make an impact. It needs to draw people in and not just be interesting to the author. A huge part of the process I want to mention is the toughest part.
The reality is many of us have lives that are very intertwined with others: your mom, dad, spouse, ex-partners, grandparents, stepparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends and maybe even your children.
You have to decide what stories are worth telling because someone is going to be mad at you. You have to deal with it. You have to decide if you are ready for it. Can you deal with a barrage of questions, gaslighting, and insults from some of the people closest to you?
You WILL make someone or maybe many people look bad. But it’s your story. If it makes them look bad- it is what it is. As long as you are telling the truth – not YOUR truth but THE truth.
I told my story when I was ready to tell it. I told stories I thought would resonate with the most people. It wasn’t about me. I took myself out of the equation. I HATE talking about myself. So, the book only happened because my goal was to provide lessons to help others. It wasn’t about me needing to talk about me. I couldn’t care less whether people talk about me. I do care if I can help educate someone.
It will be four years this month since I published my first book – Just A Unicorn. I can’t believe it’s been this long already. It’s not a perfect book. I wish I had included some other things but I’m good with it.
The biggest part that does haunt me is that I don’t know that I achieved my initial goal. I have to be honest about that now. I don’t know that I did.
I NEVER wanted to write a book about my life. I had zero desire. I don’t know that people truly understand that.
I wrote the book ONLY to help others. I don’t know that it did. I think people were just curious to read about me. I don’t know that they read the stories or looked at the questions in the back to see how certain things could be applicable to their lives.
I believe some people misinterpreted what I was trying to do. Also, I figured if people misinterpreted my goal then it meant I didn’t make myself clear and that is on me! Sigh. I’m working on clearing up some things soon. 😊
I don’t know if the book helped anyone in the way I had hoped. This still bothers me.
If the book did help you then I’m glad.
Peace and blessings.