A year out from publication and I’ve just gotten the news that my memoir When She Comes Back is a Finalist in the International Book Awards and the National Indie Excellence Awards! I’m very pleased that my debut has now placed as a Finalist in this competition as well as in the Independent Authors Network Book of the Year Awards and the American Book Fest Best Book Awards. This type of recognition is so gratifying, especially for a debut author with an indie press.
I had a conversation with a friend recently who wasn’t sure whether or not their memoir was one that the world needed. They were questioning whether or not, with so many other people with lived experiences my friend felt were harder, or more pressing, theirs actually needed telling.
I understand this feeling. Before I began writing my memoir When She Comes Back, I definitely told my writing teacher that lots of people had it worse than me and my experience wasn’t that important; that I survived and who’d want to read my story.
But as I began to write and create the narrative, see the connections I missed when I was going through that time in my life, had the opportunity to reflect on my experience through this lens of who I am now, my life shifted a bit. My empathy for my parents, for all kids who grow up with insecure attachment, and for who I used to be grew. And when my memoir came out and I got messages from readers, I realized how much telling our stories matters.
It’s not easy and it takes time and there are so many reasons we can find to keep them to ourselves. But if you have a little voice inside of you telling you that you want to share your experience, consider listening to it. I promise you will learn, grow, and discover something new about yourself and your lived experience.
As always, thank you so much for being here. I’m grateful to be able to connect with you and share these conversations about memoir and how we all grow stronger when we share stories.