write your own bookOur wonderful neighbors across the street gave a “new book” party several weeks ago.

And, no, while everyone in our neighborhood has been unfailingly supportive of my writing career, this one wasn’t for me. The author was Keekee Minor, who just published her memoir, A Minor Odyssey.

Keekee told us two years ago that she had been working on essays about her life and planned to put them in a book. She wasn’t just slapping them together, either. She was carefully piecing together facts by contacting old friends, finding the right photos to illustrate her adventures, and editing and re-editing with the help of several friends, including my husband and me. She took her time and made sure everything wasn’t only correct, but fascinating, too.  Not that the “fascinating” part was difficult, because Keekee has lived a fascinating life, all over the world.

I haven’t read the entire book yet. Somehow I started in the middle where Keekee and friends sailed through the Bermuda Triangle during a huge tropical storm.

This is Keekee at her best, an adventurer who hitchhiked through Europe and the Middle East at a time when this really wasn’t done, especially by young, beautiful women. Somehow she was right there on scene when so many riveting historical events occurred. She was and is fearless. And frankly, even though I KNEW she was sitting on a porch catty corner to my own as I read about her trials in the Bermuda Triangle, I couldn’t see how she was going to get out of that alive.

Keekee's bookKeekee was more careful about editing than most because she’s dyslexic.

You say you can’t write? Dyslexia never stopped Keekee from doing anything she really wanted, including writing an insightful article about dyslexia for the Washington Post some years ago. Despite the difficulties Keekee just forged ahead, and her memoirs, which went into print through Amazon’s great CreateSpace program, are a joy for all her friends and family to have and savor.

Now my husband, Michael, is working on his. Someday I’d like to write my own.

So here’s my question to you. Why aren’t you writing your memoirs? I mean, really? It’s time to write your own book.

Why not?

“Oh, I don’t have anything to say. I lived an ordinary life.”

Is that your excuse? Nobody will want to read it?

Well, you’re wrong there. I can’t tell you how many memoirs I’ve devoured about “ordinary” people as I researched different professions, lifestyles, settings. And what is a blog, after all, but the recounting of ordinary moments in the lives of ordinary people. And yet blogs flourish and memoirs are published by the hundreds every day, sometimes to land on bestseller lists.

The thing is? You’re interesting!

Your life is interesting and unique to you. And even if you don’t achieve bestsellerdom, the people who love you, and let’s face it, people who never had the opportunity to know you, will enjoy learning about you. Someday a grandchild or a grandniece will pick up your story–or download it–and sink into a different time in history and feel a strong connection with a family member from their past.

Or someone completely unrelated will find it and learn how much we all share, no matter when we lived.

Every person in the world has something unique about them, something they never considered to be interesting. An insight, an experience, a value they hold dear.

You are among them.

I’m told frequently that readers are “waiting for my next book.”

So now? I’m waiting for yours, sweet readers. Tell the world about your life, at least the parts you feel like divulging. If two people or two million read it, does it matter? Google “writing your memoir” to find help getting started. Or just start at the beginning and tell your most interesting anecdotes.

Tell your story. Write your own book.

Judging from Keekee’s pleasure in telling hers, I can say that you won’t be a bit sorry, nor will the people who love you. Their lives will be richer and so will yours.

4 Comments

  1. Nancy Lepri on August 25, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    Great article, Emilie. And, kudos to KeeKee!

  2. Nancy Lepri on August 25, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    As for writing the story of my life…BORING!!!! LOL

    • Emilie Richards on August 27, 2016 at 6:53 am

      Never.

  3. Julieta Fajardo on August 28, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    Keekee has indeed lived a fascinating life. I can’t wait to read her book!

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