Sunday, 10 February 2013

Writing a Personal Story

One week ago I wrote about suddenly feeling motivated to finish my book. I have been working on it loads and though I still feel like I am dragging my feet (maybe I am just too impatient), I am nearly there! Met with a friend who also happens to be a writer and a healer last week. She gave me very constructive feedback and I have been applying her comments as well as going over the structure of the book. One of the things she suggested was that I build more of a narrative around my introduction. The opening pages are where I speak of my own family's experiences with illness, it helps to talk about a dilemma by giving it a personal spin first. This is a lesson that I learned, oddly enough, by listening to a Shakira song in the 1990's. It is called Inevitable and at one point she says:

"Siempre supe que es mejor
cuando hay que hablar de dos
empezar por uno mismo"


Granted, this is a love song and my book is not a love story. But the phrase still fits. It translates to "In matters of the heart, it is best to start by speaking of yourself." If we are introducing a topic that some may not be able to assimilate head on, phrasing it in terms of your own feelings and experience takes the focus off the other person and gets the dialogue going.  It is easier for people to relate to personable stories. The question for me is how much do I share? 


Some of the things I am writing about also touched other people. Family mostly. Not everyone is comfortable with an open approach. This week I have been refining the personal side and thinking about how to phrase it. Some aspects need to be described in a politically correct way to avoid pissing off my extended family. The wording I have now still has to be scaled back to accomodate for their sensibilities. I suppose this is the case in any narrative that touches on real events. How much of it is just my story to tell? Not a lot. 



Inevitable by Shakira



Update: The personal story was published in 2013, with largely positive feedback. Learn more about A Personal Guide to Self-Healing, Cancer & Love here.  



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Reiki hugs, Regina







2 comments:

  1. As long as you are clear and make it clear that what you telling is and was your point of view and does not mean it was the reality, you owning it as yours. Making sure people understand what that means. We will never have everyone's view or understanding of the experience and we can not please everyone. The point here is this is our book, our story, your pint of view and your feelings. People need to respect that. Make sure to make it clear this is not about blaming or point at anyone. This is simply your experience. :) xxx

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    1. Hi Maria, I think some of the things that happened my younger cousins don't know about. Their parents might tell them when they are older, or tell them part of the story. I don't want to spill the bean =) That is what I am being cautious of now, especially if I can still get the point across without letting all of the skeletons out of the closet =)

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