Monday, March 11, 2013

Memoirs of an Insecure Writer



Having just finished the second draft of my memoir and having been freshly rejected for a columnist position at a local paper, I was feeling oddly secure and confident.  For no apparent reason.  In the last 3 months, I have fiendishly read the memoirs of other writers, a pleasure I didn't allow myself early in my book writing process.  For two reasons.  The first one being intimidation.  The second, I didn't want to inadvertently copy anyone else's style.  Or content.  Or be intimidated by it.

This weekend I thought I was finally far along enough in my own book that I was ready to read the book I've purposely been putting off.   Unfortunately, I was completely wrong.

When we got back from Morocco, I couldn't wait to start writing Rock The Kasbah the book.  But, since it was summer and the kids were home and I was still overwhelmed and crying every time I went to the store, it was probably for the best that I waited a couple months until the kids were back in school. Craig kept reassuring me that I didn't need to rush, that only I could write my own book.  Though I appreciated his beautiful and delusional sentiment, it didn't slow me down at all.

Did I mention I have no idea how to write a book? And that writing one brings up all kinds of emotions I didn't expect. Like, do I seem like a pompous douche bag?  What if it's crap?  Like it truly sucks.  And people tell me it's good out of pity? Will I be mocked if I  inadvertently use "they're" instead of "their"?  Ok, I know the answer to that one is "yes".  Suffice it to say,   writing puts you in this weird, vulnerable place where you question everything like the narcissist you truly are.


Which is why I put in this really vulnerable place a pic of me first thing in the morning with a zit.  I actually have 2 more on my chin, but they're a bit camera shy.  To prove to you that I'm not a narcissist.  Unless it just proves I am.

Infrequently and temporarily though, I'll be in a good place in my head.  That's where I was when I picked up Let's Pretend This Never Happened  by Jenny Lawson.  Aka:  The Bloggess.  Blogger turned published author and New York Times Bestseller.  I was so mentally prepared.  Or so I thought.

I started at the Introduction.  Where she starts with a story of her falling out of a moving car as a kid.  Wait a freakin' minute people.  This is MY STORY!  Except I was 6 and she was 9.  My mom was driving and her dad was at the wheel.  Neither one believed we fell out or stopped for us.  Of course, this story is also included in my book and now I look like a huge big fat liar and copycat.  Even though I have a big family who can vouch it's absolutely a true story.  This is exactly what I was trying to avoid.   Which is why I'm posting this picture.



Because I'm feeling completely insecure and intimidated right now. And because I'm going to guess the Bloggess can't do this.  But, I'm not going to read the next chapter right now to find out.



14 comments:

Abbi zern said...

Marie, I know I'm not alone when I tell you how great you are and how confident I am that you will find your literary voice. Your blog is the ONLY blog I read (although I don't write about it, my life is far too busy to read about everyone else's!) and it's because I feel it's WORTH MY TIME. Don't get discouraged. It will happen! Not only do you rock the Kasbah, you just rock!

The Loerzels said...

Thank you so much Abbi! That means so much!!!

Leah Griffith said...

When I wrote Cosette's Tribe, I purposely stayed away from any coming of age type stories. I wrote my words as honestly as possible, day after day after day....
Sometimes it's best to just do your thing. There is nothing new under the sun. Everything has been said before. What makes it unique is how you say it.

Good lord girl! You could be in the Olympics! What's that pose called, the "Upside Down Kiss My Ass!?" LOLOL!!

Cerebrations.biz said...

I'm with Leah!

Abby said...

First of all, love the picture. That should be the cover of your book when--not if--you publish it.

Second, I envy you for writing a memoir. I would love to, but I have no idea how I would even begin and the fact that I'm totally OCD would stress me out. So...I blog in small blurbs. It's all I can really handle, but it's still fun to look back on the disjointed memoir of sorts.

Just write like you think. Screw people who don't like it. The important people will.

The Loerzels said...

@ Leah-It's called dragonfly, but I like your name better. And I'm reading The Bloggess's book. Her story isn't my story. Even though I freaked out temporarily.
@ Roy-Thanks for always supporting me!
@ Abby-Thanks so much! I LOVE your writing and I very much appreciate your support! And if I can do a memoir, so can you!

MuMuGB said...

I am sure that it will be a great book, Marie!

Joy Page Manuel said...

Don't worry too much about being a narcissist. I seriously think we all are...every single one of us on this planet! Some of us are just more obnoxious than others and I don't think you fall in that category. So there, one less thing to worry about! As for your story being similar to Lawson's, the good news is that this somehow assures you that you are best-seller material too, doesn't it? So, cheer up and write on! I don't mean to add to your pressures but you HAVE TO do this. I want to live vicariously through you. I don't think I will ever get published so you're my only hope! ;-))

stuartnager said...

Your voice comes out nice and clear in your writing: it has humor,a comfortable ease when reading, and creates a very vivid mental picture, all which makes reading your work a pleasure.
What I tell my kids when do any type of creative thing: NEVER judge yourself against someone else. Do your best, and the rest will come together.
So what if someone shares a similar or same story? That only helps the reader to connect more with your story. Revel in it, as you do here, and it will be an enjoyable read.

The Loerzels said...

@ Muriel-Thanks for your certainty!
@ Joy- I don't think I'm going to ever get published either, which is why I expect to self publish. If I can do it, you can do it!
@ Stuart-Your comment totally gave me chills. Thank you so much!

bettyl said...

I must agree with Hubby, only you can write it and it will get written when the time is right. Keep on working!

Rachel said...

I heard "Let's Pretend This Never Happened" was hilarious and I've wanted to read it for a while, but still haven't had the chance. Your memoir will be/is just as awesome for all the reasons Staurt so perfectly says above!

Penelope J said...

Marie, This post is one I hoarded until I could comment. What you have is the memoir jitters. I'm on the point of publishing and I still ask myself those same questions. One thing that may help once you get your first draft done is to join a writing critique group if you haven't already. At the moment just write your heart out and get it done. I think you have talent, a great way with words, and humor.

The Loerzels said...

@bettyl-You're right!
@ Rachel-After being so initially intimidated, I was underwhelmed by the end of the book.
@Penelope-Thanks for your encouragement and kind words! I'm reading all kinds of memoirs while I'm putting the finishing touches on my book and I'm not at all intimidated anymore!

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