Editing memoir is a long slog.
The first draft is easy. It’s bleed onto the page. Dance on the page. Sing on the page. Burn. Cry. Get angry. Pour it all out.
Dig back to the beginning. Try to remember every last detail.
Then the editing began. Editing is when the doubts creep in. Who is this book for? For me, or The Reader?
In my opinion, the first memoir draft is for the Writer. After that, IMHO, you have to walk the fine line between staying true to your memories and yet make them, not just palatable, but interesting to the reader.
Make the memoir something that the reader can relate to in terms of their own life.
If you don’t, it’s just a self-centered ramble through your own dirt or glory, as the case may be.
I’m on Week 3 of Draft 5, the fifth revision.
I’m holed up in an apartment north of town with a chair, a table, a laptop, and a foam mattress that I bought on Amazon Prime the day before I moved in with a basic black wardrobe and a box of socks and underwear.
One water glass, one wine glass, a couple plates and a handful of silverware.
The table is covered with index cards, post-its, a few favorite memoirs, Mary Karr’s The Art of Memoir, and vitamins.
The landlady lives upstairs. I told her that the only person she’d hear me talking to is myself.
I’m hoping to communicate with the voice of my past clearly.
I want the voice of my past to greet the voice of my present and make sense of it all.
The original time frame was age three through eighteen.
Fortunately, I write in Scrivener so I won’t lose any of my previous versions.
I’m making big changes to the voice as I’m now letting the adult Linda take charge.
Expanding to the present. Reflections, Lessons, Questions Answered.
Hoping for the best.