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How to Combat Your Doubt Demons While Writing Your Memoir or Book

I'm nearing the home stretch with my revision of GRAVEYARD OF SAFE CHOICES, my later in life, coming out memoir, which will be published by the University of Wisconsin Press in Fall 2023!

Hooray!

I'm celebrating my good fortune and hard work!

But something less pleasant is also happening as I near the end of this journey.

The doubt demons are whispering in my ear again:

Your writing sucks.

You are really going to expose ALL this to the world?

Sure, you got a book deal but no one's going to buy your book except for your family and close friends. Because they have to.

You spent how many years of your life on what?

Here's what I do when the doubt demons creep in:

I come back to my WHY. 

WHY am I writing this story in the first place? Why THIS story? Why me? Why now?

The same questions I ask my memoir clients.

Like many memoir writers, I started writing my story because I felt like I had no other choice. I started writing first for ME—to make sense of a very confusing and...

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What Memoir Writers Fear Most

Beck came to me last spring with a vague idea about the story he wanted to write.

Snippets of experiences from my childhood living as a girl and moments of parallel in adulthood, as I re-experience firsts as a man.

Okay.

I knew there was an important story there, and I also knew that "snippets" weren't going to do it justice.

"What are you most afraid of?" I asked. I figured the snippets approach was a way for Beck to protect himself, to guard his heart from further trauma and judgment.

Snippets! So light and breezy!

Because this is a writer who has been abandoned over and over by the people who are supposed to love him most.

"Oh, I'm afraid that people will think my book is a narcissistic journey into nothingness," Beck said.

I chuckled, not because this was funny but because I hear a variation of this fear all the time from writers.

Being afraid that people will think you're a narcissist if you write your story really means you're afraid that no one will...

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