I met with a woman not too long ago who wanted advice on a book she was writing. A book about her life. Not a memoir so much as a testament. It’s a life that has endured more and survived more than most of the rest of us. Unless you watch Dr. Phil. It’s a life of tattered dreams and darkness. It’s a book of rejuvenation.
She wanted the book to be a testament to the power of a person’s inner spirit. To show others that the human condition allows us to overcome and defeat anything – anything at all.
Her life story is impressive. I believe it could achieve the goals she has for it, but I cautioned her to dig deep and find her unique focus. The world doesn’t need another story about abuse and overcoming tragedy. The world needs her story – about the woman she is now, and how she did not let a life of darkness define her. And, still, there needs to be something new and fresh and unique and only she knows what that is.
There are times you will write to save your life. You will compose blog posts where you vent and ramble and vomit the words onto the keyboard, and your fingers grab them and throw them on the blog, in no special order. And time passes without notice and the sentences become paragraphs and paragraphs become pages, until you collapse, over your keyboard, in a heap.
When you write to save your life, the flow of the story seems sequential, because you’re composing it from day one of memory, to present time, and yet, if you edit, as rightly you should, you may find errors, mistakes, memories that conflict with what is on paper, and memories that go deeper, so much so, you cannot write them.
A story full of dark memories, is a story for your eyes only.
Unless you’re writing fiction.
If the book you’re writing is meant to save your life, make it powerful. Make it useful. Make it compelling. Don’t tell the story – feel it. Don’t share a moment in two dimensions, share it in three. Don’t be didactic, be approachable. You cannot save your life without saving the lives of others.
Your business book needs to be more than a list of trials and tribulations, or how you overcame a fear of baseball bats. It’s in the story of what happened after, the story of the ‘now’ you, that your audience will begin to relate to you. Experiences that beat you down or left you bloody are important, if we are still talking about saving your life, but gory and grim is overrated. Leave that to Stephen King.
Business professionals and entrepreneurs are hungry for books that will save their lives. They aren’t going to write the book – too many of them are both afraid of the story they might tell, and wary of how to put it on paper.
You need to write the book. Write to save your life.
In the writing, in the sharing, in the speaking it out loud, you will save many other lives.
Write to save your life – write as if each word could be the turning point in the success of your business.
I admit that each post I write is done with that in mind. I am saving my life. My life is writing. My life is full of silence, listening to stories that float above the surface of every conversation, begging for attention. My life is full of desire to write those stories – with you. yvonne (at) yvonnedivita (dot) com.