I remember the day well. Something changed. Something was literally different about my thoughts. No more excuses. No more procrastination. It was the same exact feeling I had when I told myself I would stop drinking. Enough was enough. My book writing journey was to begin right then and there.
I had not a clue where to begin, let alone how to begin. But I reached for a blank notepad and pen and just started writing. I convinced myself not to consider what I was putting on the blank page. The only thing that mattered was that I was actually penning thoughts and recollections on to the paper in front of me. I could worry about making sense of it all later. I had no idea that I was about to unleash a cathartic journey of rediscovering myself.
As my words began to form potential chapters, my vision became clearer and clearer. Memories and feelings flushed through me like watching a picture show on an old film reel. Opening the doors to some of my most suppressed childhood memories. The beginnings of my book were being born. My internal story had finally decided it was time to come out and pour on to the page.
I share this with you because I truly believe we all have a story inside us. We are a series of chapters happening onto ourselves. Some of us will be compelled to share. Maybe for personal release. Maybe for the greater good of the world. Perhaps for both reasons.
There is something so profound and liberating about stepping back to reread something you have just written... especially when the words you strung together speak your deepest truths. And that is the thing about writing, isn't it? Someone else will also read those words and potentially feel all those same feels you so carefully crafted there on that page.
As an aspiring author and writer of a memoir, I have been forced to face some repetitive questions: Who will want to read my story? Why would someone care about my journey? What can they learn from my trials and triumphs anyway? Soon after diving in and digging deep, the answer came to me clear as day. There is someone out there who needs this story. It doesn't matter if it plucks at the heartstrings of two, two hundred, or two thousand readers. It is meant for someone.
But most importantly, your writing is meant for you.
The words on my pages are raw and permanent. They tell the snapshot stories that have been building inside me and give them a home for safe keeping. My collection of things remembered. Even the ugliest parts, as daunting as they may be, have provided me with nuggets of wisdom my soul had forgotten. And this my friends... is available to anyone who bravely picks up the pen or taps at the keyboard to begin. Even if you are not compelled to share your story, I guarantee starting it will provide you with some sort of clarity.
I hope you all will be inspired to buy the book and read my story next year when it is time to be released. I truly feel there are little morsels that everyone can and will relate to. Until then, please enjoy this excerpt from my unedited first draft. ♥
We met on a side street near my home. I was riding my bicycle around the block by myself. Typical for a sunny day in my neighborhood back then. A car crept down the brick road beside me, following along slowly as I peddled. It felt like I was watching an abduction go down on the big screen.
The car was long and bronze in color. Much like the thousands of freckles that were splattered all about his face and body. He hung half way out of the vehicle, arm dangling loosely down the side of the door. Was he planning to use this hand to pull me off of my bike? His teeth were extremely crooked. They matched the uncomfortable vibe he was immediately giving off. His head was mostly bald and rather sunburned. Actually, all of his skin was tinted red. The fumes from the car exhaust polluted the air around us. I felt the sensation of being smothered. I was instantly petrified and uncomfortable in his presence and stare. Hair stood tall on my sweaty neck. I had to remind myself to breathe.
And then my name rolled casually out of his mouth. “Are you Jill? Is your name Jill?” I stopped my bike and planted my feet on the sidewalk. I stared back focusing on the eyes of this strange man who felt comfortable enough to approach me. I think my head nodded “yes” even though I had no intentions of engaging in any sort of conversation with this creep. He told me his name was ----- and he was friends with my mom. Then, he slowly drove away, watching me in his rearview mirror as the car inched forward. He had clearly stopped to check me out and make his presence known.
I felt tremendous relief as the car disappeared down the street. I looked down to see my hands clenched tightly around my handle bars, holding on for dear life.
Thank God he wasn’t a perpetrator. Or was he?