Seven things I learned from writing and publishing my memoir (Part two - The Message)

This week is the Queensland Writers Festival and as my tiny contribution, I am writing a post a day in a series called seven things I learned from writing and publishing my memoir. This is part two.

2. What is your Message?

What is the message of your memoir? How do you hope it will touch people? What would you like people to feel after reading your book? Happy? Motivated? Glad they are not you?

Your book may be a collection of stories but there should be something to tie them together, something that makes your whole book interesting, unique, and worth reading. You should have a story to tie it together but your story should also have  an overall message or meaning.

Like most people, I found divorce and job loss depressing and scary, but they were also blessings in disguise. My marriage had been failing for years and my job had changed from challenging to stifling. Leaving both opened up my life to new possibilities.

The sky seemed clearer and brighter, my heart seemed lighter and free, and anything started to seem possible.

That is what I wanted to tell by writing my memoir. Life can be awesome. Change can absolutely be the catalyst for something better. I hope people enjoy the stories of my year house sitting but the overall message in my books is one of hope. Hope that challenges can be overcome and life can be even better after tragedy and sadness.

Have you considered your overall message? While your book, like your life, will take many twists and turns, you should consider its overall impact. Are you hoping to connect with your reader, motivate them, or shock them? When someone finishes your memoir, do you want them to feel inspired, relieved, or hopeful?
Here are a few messages other have used. “Love conquers all,” “Persistence pays off,” and “”ordinary people can have amazing lives.”

Somewhere early in your writing, you might like to consider your message. Knowing why you are writing your memoir will help you answer the biggest question of all that your potential readers will have. 

Why should I read your book?

 Tomorrows blog: Setting the Tone

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