Friends, I'm starting with you. Something makes you click on my blog, so you are the perfect ones to help me think through what might make someone crack open my BOOK (better BUY my book!). I've threatened for a few years to write one, and now I have about 50K words. It's not done, and part of that is a lack of clarity on my part. While I also have parenting (more camaraderie/zero instructions) and fiction books simmering on the back-burners, I decided to first focus on completing my ballet memoir because I care about it the most.
I'm asking myself now: what edges and blanks do I fill in order to shape the book into one overarching narrative? It kind of has a "sometimes dreams really don't come true" factualness, but the story is told via my explorations of grief and joy before, during, and following the crucial, central plot-twist.
The story itself is interesting on a few levels:
1. It's an insider look at the ballet/dance education world. I have unique perspective having come from a small school, trained professionally in a large school with some renown, and worked on the other side of the desk in administration.
2. It's got that "coming of age" flavor applied to an artist's life particularly. What happens to an artist who loses access to her medium? Is she still an artist? What parts of ourselves should we let go as life and circumstances limit expression? How hard do we fight to keep what we love?
3. It has an adult perspective (grounded in 10 years of attachment-style parenting) on children in professional settings and the pros/cons for those kids. (Think: How do things like wide-spread abuse among gymnasts happen?)
For me, there are so many subtler messages on which I could focus, and because it's my life (!) I have some difficulty separating what may interest a reader from what I just needed to write for my own healing and growth. For me as a Christian person, these things developed my theology of suffering and revealed so many misconceptions of God. But I don't want to focus primarily on all that, though I could. Truthfully, that would be the hardest thing to do, and I think I'd need to do a lot more research and learning to make that worthwhile.
So, there really is a question (or 100) in all this somewhere. "What do I do?" is the first?! How do I create a book that is flowing from my real self without it being so niche that it is irrelevant? What do people who read memoirs hope to find in them? I like to read ANYONE's story because I find love for people simply in learning what they see in themselves, but some people (like my husband) just would never buy a book like mine. Who is my audience? Help me out!
Can you shoot me answers to any of these questions? You can use my Contact link, or email, FB, text me personally. Thank you for thinking with me! I'd have you all over for drinks if I could. That'd be way more fun. SOMEDAY!