Today I received this gift in the mail. It’s a photo of my book, loved and worn by a faithful reader. I really do believe that the book takes on a life of its own. I really do believe that ultimately it’s between the book and the reader.
People ask me all the time what it’s like to have written a memoir about something so deeply personal. My answer is this: if you write with compassion and responsibility, you can write about anything. People are hungry for heart language. People want to know they’re not alone. That is a writer’s job. This weekend I’ll be teaching a memoir writing workshop in Montana for the Authors of the Flathead. The truth is, no one can really show you how to write your truth. To me it’s about learning how to get out of your own way by asking powerful questions. It’s about understanding the sacred space of creation. You sit in your quiet room somewhere and you release the work with the intention that it will help someone out there. That it will land in someone’s lap and heart. That you will give them cause to pause. Dog-ear. Underline. Join in the dance of the collective We.
So for all you writers out there, look deeply at this photo. You are doing important work in the language of heart. Your words matter. Believe in your book. It wants you to.