I’m not much of a poetry reader, or writer, for that matter. I always felt that poetry was above me. It was heady, it was philosophical, it was abstract. In short: I just didn’t get it. And in not understanding it, I didn’t gravitate toward it. Then, one day not that long ago, I was standing in the checkout line at the bookstore, my arms already full with a fresh stack of new books about to come home with me, and I saw a bright pink book in the corner of my eye. It was sitting there on a small table with others. I can’t say I ever saw a book as bright as this one. There was no image, no illustration. Just the title and author’s name: the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace. The title hooked me, so I opened it. Poetry. But I was too intrigued to put it down and so I read from the introduction and the dedication and then the trigger warning as I slowly inched toward checkout. The book came home with me. I read it one evening in the chair next to my son’s bed as he held my hand tight and fell asleep. And when I got to the other side I saw it had another title on the back: the story of a princess turned damsel turned queen. My insides went, “YESS!” Why? Because Lovelace showed me what it looked like to rewrite your narrative, to reclaim each part of yourself along your journey and come out stronger. She beautifully illustrated how wounds can turn into art and pain into purpose. I realized she was one of my people.
Now, I’m not about to help anyone write a book of poetry even though I will tell you a couple names of poets I like. Lovelace, of course, is always at the top of my list because it’s beautiful, powerful poetry that I understand and can even see parts of myself in.
What I can do, however, is support you in writing a book about your life, a memoir, that helps you to make meaning out of those past hurts, wrongs, and traumas; that helps you shed light on all those dark corners of the world you’ve seen; that helps you rewrite your narrative so that YOU SEE that you saved yourself. You were your own knight. You wielded your own sword. You rode away on your own damn horse.
I’m sure there were good people somewhere along the way who offered aid or support in some way, but none of them kept you going. You kept you going. You took each new breath, each new step. You faced each new day that dawned. You had the will, determination, perseverance, resilience, inner strength, and grit to push on. You dared to have hope and belief that something better lied ahead. You chose healing, forgiveness, grace, and love. For self and maybe even for those who committed wrongs (or crimes) against you. Because you are fierce. You are fiery. You are a warrior.
When it comes to sharing your Truth with the world, telling your tale, it’s not just about giving the reader what they want – which is usually a happy ending – it’s about seeing what is real. What’s real is that life is messy and none of us get out unscathed. What’s real is that human beings do terrible things to other human beings, sometimes unintentionally and other times deliberately. What’s real is that we have enormous emotions that range and can be felt simultaneously. What’s real is that we all have both hate and love inside ourselves towards Self and towards others.
This is what memoirs are made of. The human condition. The human struggle. Memoirs are about our humanness, our vulnerability, our complexity, our pain and our joy. They’re about our transformation. They’re a way to rewrite your narrative.
Memoir offers you the chance to relive moments, re-experience them in new ways, and reflect to find new meaning. I know that sounds pretty damn awful when we consider the most tragic of our experiences or the darkest of our moments. To think that we have “the chance” to relive these things probably seems foul. But hear me out.
You came to the other side. The horrible thing that happened or stood in your way is over. I’m not saying you don’t still feel the effects of it. I’m not saying you don’t still struggle with certain things. I’m saying you LIVED. You SURVIVED. And you may even be someone who is THRIVING now. So to some extent you made it. 'Making it' is a blessing.
And if you’re reading this post, you’re healed enough and/or privileged enough and/or able enough to actually consider how you might turn your pain into purpose – for yourself or someone else. You might actually be able to consider what art and what meaning can come from that place of depravity or trauma or loss. You have the chance to rewrite your narrative from the place you are now.
From a place where you are stronger. Safer. Happier. Healthier. You get to name and define the place you’re in, but I promise you it’s not where you were. That was then. This is now. You’re here. Whatever happened before, whatever happened in the past, you were younger then. You were less capable. Less knowing. You may have spent time beating yourself up for not doing things differently then. You have spent time sitting in shame or blaming yourself. That was then. This is now.
Now, you have the chance to rewrite your narrative. And in doing so you’ll see. You save yourself in this one.
What would it be like to look at your story through the lens as an author and have the power to rewrite the narrative, reframe the story, and rediscover the grit, hope, and triumph it took to get where you are? What would it look like to have a detailed and authentic plan, completely aligned to you, that helped you pen that story? My 1:1 collaborator’s package, Sips a Latte, is a 6-month coaching program that guides you in uncovering your story and all its pieces, so you can finally write the book that will change the effin’ world.
Book your Coffee & Craft call so we can discuss.