After completing Marion Roach Smith’s Master Class in memoir writing in June, I’ve been working on revising my memoir manuscript. It was the epitome of an ugly vomit draft at that point. Over the summer, though, I cleaned up the vomit a bit and created a more coherent structure.
A few weeks ago, I sent the manuscript out to a content editor, Charlotte Gullick, Austin Community College’s Creative Writing chair, and another former instructor of mine. She’s promised to have her comments back to me by next week. Needless to say, I’m nervous about seeing her feedback. I know the book needs some work, and it’s going to take a lot more time and energy to get it right. I’ve lost all objectivity when it comes to reading the (third!) draft, though. I was pretty much lost in the weeds, so comments from another reader will be helpful.
No matter how encouraging or discouraging the review, this book is one step closer to publication–which I hope to accomplish next year–and that’s exciting. But part of me wants to hold back, keep this story to myself. It’s hard to make something this personal public. Yet I’ve learned so much from my experiences that I think will give hope to others who struggle with absent or imperfect parents. In the end, the writing, editing, and publishing process will add one more valuable learning experience to my profile. That alone will be worth the effort.