Writing a Memoir: A Daunting Journey
Writing a book is hard; writing a memoir is harder; and yet, here I am, an author of not one, but two, memoirs! I am nothing if not optimistic, persistent and single focused, just ask my friends. But writing Unwanted: How a Mother Learned To Turn Shame, Grief and Fear into Purpose, Passion and Empowerment, was certainly the most difficult thing I have ever undertaken. Written on flights, in hotel rooms, and on RV trips while serving my nonprofit clients across the country was daunting. Writing the second memoir Confessions of a Sin City Fundraiser was a slog… an agonizing process that had me questioning my motives for writing this book. “Who cares,” I would think as I struggled with every dangling participle and preposition. What is a dangling participle anyway?
Overcoming homelessness and abuse as a youngster, becoming the lead dancer on a nationally televised production, and hiding my illegal alien child from ICE for 18 years while building Opportunity Village, and raising millions of dollars for folks with disabilities, was a cakewalk compared to writing these memoirs. The fact that I dropped out of high school a month short of graduation to get into showbiz didn’t help my confidence as a writer, but I forged on.
A memoir is a form of art that offers a connection to our fellow humans. We tell our personal story to inform, educate and hopefully help others. A memoir is not the same as an autobiography. That is the retelling of an entire life, instead it’s about a certain time, a snapshot if you will of a person’s life. Writing a story about a difficult period of a life, a sometimes embarrassing time is not for the faint of heart. So what does Linda do… she writes two memoirs.
And so now, I write this short blog with joy as I have found that my books have helped so very many people in far flung places. We all have a story to tell and I encourage you to write about your journey, if not for you, for others who you might help. In reading my books people have shared that they changed their own lives for the better, and for that I am over the moon and proud! When purchasing my books, there is an added bonus because all proceeds go the Christopher Smith Foundation, a caregiving nonprofit that honors the beautiful life of my boy Christopher.