writing a memoir.

So it turns out that writing this book is not as easy as I thought.  I want the book to be good, so I’ve been doing a lot of research about how to write a memoir.  In the first few weeks after I decided to press on with writing it, I made efforts to remember all the things that have happened since Ian got sick.  Wow- do I have a lot of material!!!  I even started to ask close friends about dates and events, hoping that I could get my story straight.  However, the more I read about writing a memoir, which is what I’ve chosen to write, I’ve learned that it should be written from my own memories…  Things that only I experienced and remember.  This takes some of the pressure of getting every single detail in the story off my shoulders.  And for me, it makes it even more fun because I get to share things that I otherwise might not get to share.

I’ve been to the bookstore a lot, and my four books on writing memoir are proof of that.  I’ve found at least ten blogs with helpful information about memoir, too.  I feel like there is so much to learn and I can’t find enough hours in the day to read and soak it all in.  Sooooooo, I’ve concluded that this is going to take longer than I thought, too.  In one of the books I’m reading the author shares a story about two people at a dinner party.  One is a doctor and one is a writer.  When the doctor figures out that the other person is a writer he says, “Oh I’ve always wanted to write a book.  Maybe I’ll take six months off and write a book.”  The author goes on to describe how most people assume that writing is easy and don’t understand its complexity.  They would get a taste of it if they actually tried.

In the last month I’ve been blessed by compliments from people about my writing.  One person asked me to write a letter of recommendation since I am a “writer.” WOW!  She thinks I’m a writer, I thought to myself.  Another gentleman came up to me at church and asked me to keep writing.  He said that I have a unique perspective and likes hearing it.  Even my BFF told me she thought my writing was good.  Still, I’m not ready to call myself a “writer” yet.  I think that implies that you have to be good at it, and that you have to know what you’re doing.  I’m working on both.

I must share why I decided to write this memoir.  I’ve always thought that it would be a good idea to write for my kids, especially for my boys, who were too little to understand what was going on at the time.  I feel like I owe it to them to write about what happened to their daddy so that they can share it with their own kids someday, too.  After all, this story is part of their testimony now, too.  However, in addition to that, one morning while I was sitting in church something stood out to me.  God has called us to reach all the nations and share Him with the world.  He has not called us to be quiet about what He has done for us.  As I heard that, my heart felt like it was going to leap out of my chest and I felt tingly all over.  What was my role in that?  What could I do to reach the nations?  It was then that I felt like God was telling me that writing this story would be my (Denisse Warshak’s) way of sharing Him with the world.  By telling everyone about what He has done for my family, I would be showing His love, His grace, and giving an example of the salvation that can only come from Him.  So here I am now.  I’m learning all I can so that I can do a good job of sharing one of His stories with the world…  And I am really enjoying it!

Please feel free to share any (and I mean any) information or insight you may have with me.  This whole writing thing is very new to me and I’m sure there is a lot I can learn.  I am an extremely willing student.  🙂

What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.  Matthew 10:27 NASB

8 thoughts on “writing a memoir.

  1. Wow Denisse! This is the first I have read of your desire to write a book! Just want you to know that my heart leaps with the yes and amen on this! Not that you need to know that but still I wanted to tell you! Your writings have been such a blessing to so many and have even helped to open doors for Ian because of your faithfulness to write your thoughts and feelings down for all of us to share in and join with you in your family’s journey. Although this may be a challenge, when God gives you the confirmation that He has given and will continue to give, you will surely do what He has ordained for you to do! For you it will be “fishes and loaves” and for Christ it will be multiplied to feed the masses!!! I will continue to hold you in my heart! Love in Christ, Trish

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  2. Denisse, writing a memoir is a wonderful idea! The first time I read your blog, I thought, “wow, this is well written. Why didn’t I have her in my journalism class?” But seriously, the life that you and Ian are living is inspirational to so many of us. Others will be blessed by your story of love, perseverance and faith.
    My only suggestions are to read examples of other good writing, dedicate yourself a block of time to write, and have a good editor.

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    • Thanks, Dina! I’m reading a lot these days!!! Some memoir and biography, and a lot about writing in general. I’m trying to carve out time to write consistently, but its hard with my three little ones around. This may take me years to complete!

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  3. A great story like Ian’s needs to be shared!! Your inspirational faith and God’s merciful deliverance through Ian’s illness is a memoir your children certainly need to have and others can be encouraged by as well! His mighty works should be loudly proclaimed to all the world! You can do it…His timing is perfect! You go girl!

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    • Debbie!! You’ve been such a wonderful motivator through this whole thing! If I ever finish this, it will be through God! ha! I surely can’t do it on my own. HE has a story that HE wants me to share 🙂

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