Flaws, we all have flaws. We may not always be in touch with them or admit to having them but they are there, fresh and raw when uncovered. I’m typically a very private and often shy person, so laying all my imperfections out on the table for the world to see didn’t come easily.
I knew in my heart, that the story of my relationship with my stepmother June, was the one I needed to tell. Getting my inner most feelings out and onto the page was a therapy of sorts. I’d spend much of my writing time with tears streaming down my face. I often wanted to give up, the time invested was often too painful. I wanted to move to something lighter, funnier like my first book, One Clown Short. But the funnier stuff simply wouldn’t come out of my writer’s mind. Only my inner demons could make their way onto the page.
One of the first rules of memoir writing is to show your flaws. It seems people love to hear about other’s insecurities and ultimate personal miseries. It’s called the human condition. Or misery loves company. Maybe that’s true but I want to think I shared much more than that.
Friends and family started reading my book and their comments floored me. Some had been through similar situations with elderly family members and believed they were all alone. Others related to my struggle with alcohol or the burdens left behind when someone dies. I finally realized that I didn’t write A Bittersweet Goodnight in a vacuum, and even though I often felt alone, I never was.
The night I walked onto stage at the Royal Palm Literary Awards to accept my award, I cried. When I saw the cover for the first time, I cried. When I sold my first book on Amazon, I cried. Now that others out in the world have read my story and found something within its pages they could relate to, I no longer feel the need to cry. I’ve sent my story out into the universe, flaws and all, and it feels good.