On a Journey

I’ve realized I’m on a journey.

No, I’m not talking about the one we are all on with Abby. This one is all my own. My life is changing. For the better, but still – changing. I’m setting goals I never thought I would set. And I’m achieving them. I’m working on a career path… a career I never anticipated. I mean, I always thought I was the one who belonged behind a desk. And while I can definitely thrive there, I’ve realized I can do just as well, if not BETTER, in front of an audience. Of course, it helps that my audience is always in a kitchen – my favorite room in the house. ๐Ÿ˜‰

And then, there is this decision I recently made. This decision to write a book. I mean – have you ever tried to sit down and write a book? I’m finding out it is VERY difficult. So much planning is involved! As usual, I’ve had to do some research. Part of that research entailed me going back and reading EVERY SINGLE ONE of my blogs since Abigail was born. I had no idea how tough that was going to prove to be!

I shed a lot of tears, for a lot of different reasons. I recalled all of the frustrations and heartache we faced, along with the triumphs and the happy moments. I was back on that roller coaster again. But not only did I read what I wrote. I also read what you wrote. All 251 comments that have been placed here over the last year. I don’t know which was more overwhelming – my own emotions put into words, or the words I was met with from all of you…

Where the book was concerned, one comment stood out among the rest – a dear family friend named Jacque suggested I write this book as a memoir. Actually, she called me a “grassroots feminist” (It was a compliment, and I’m taking it as such) and asked that, whatever I choose, that my writing remain, “honest, endearing and smart.” I felt honored that someone I’ve always thought to be of the highest intelligence called me smart.

So, I went back to good ‘ole Wiki. Because I honestly had never looked up the definition of a Memoir. Wiki says, “A memoir (from French: mรฉmoire/ Latin: memoria, meaning memory, or reminiscence), is a literary genre, forming a subclass of autobiography โ€“ although the terms ‘memoir’ and ‘autobiography’ are almost interchangeable. Memoir is autobiographical writing, but not all autobiographical writing follows the criteria for memoir.”

Wiki explains further: “Memoirs are structured differently from formal autobiographies which tend to encompass the writer’s entire life span, focusing on the development of his or her personality. The chronological scope of a memoir is determined by the work’s context and is therefore more focused and flexible than the traditional arc of birth to old age as found in an autobiography.”

And while that was a great definition, and really helped me to understand WHAT a memoir is, it was the quotes they included that helped me to decide that this was, in fact, the way I wanted to write this book:

Gore Vidal, in his own memoir Palimpsest, gave a personal definition: “a memoir is how one remembers one’s own life, while an autobiography is history, requiring research, dates, facts double-checked.” It is more about what can be gleaned from a section of one’s life than about the outcome of the life as a whole.

Humorist Will Rogers put it a little more pithily: “Memoirs means when you put down the good things you ought to have done and leave out the bad ones you did do.”

Hahaahaha. Honest, endearing, and smart. Love it! So, with that, I decided that this was the map I was going to use to get to my destination. I’m going to write a Memoir. A portion of my life, as I remember it, with as much detail as possible.

The outlines are done. The search for that perfect title is still going (Although “Starting Small, “Love Helps Me Grow,” and “Adventures with AJ” (I won’t be using her real name in the book) are topping the list right now. Let the writing begin!

Thanks Jacque!

-Jen

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