Friday, August 5, 2011

Audience Fatigue, Writer Woes, Publishing Perils

I received an email from a friend this morning. Her succinct message needed no interpretation, “Publish the damn book, Brenda!" I received a similar one last week. Then my very supportive friend who already wants to book my tour of Idaho keeps asking, “When is the publishing date?”

Ok, Ok, I understand that I’ve been working on this memoir for three years now. Some writers spend a decade or more on a book and this writer had oh-so-much to learn. The bad news to these faithful friends---I’m going backwards instead of forward. Having just taken a writing class and a writer’s retreat at the Carnegie Center here in Lexington, KY, I now hold new secrets for how to make the book better.

The writer’s woes? I own up to my fair share of “putting it out there” angst. What happens when the world knows your life stories? Will they be caressed with graceful kindness or batted about as gossip and sensationalism? My goal in writing the memoir remains the same---to shout to all who listen, you can survive--- and not just survive, you can thrive. Life dishes up difficulties large and small to all of us. My story suggests ways of dealing with whatever comes your way.

Publishing perils? I committed myself to learning the publishing industry along side the writing of the book. The publishing world by necessity reinvents itself daily in this technological age. So I must make critical decisions about with whom and how my memoir will be published in an ever-changing environment. All advice welcome.

Hang with me. I’m doing my best to make it worth the wait.

Now what do you think of the name Grit and Grace for a title?

What do you think of this photograph of John Lynner Peterson’s for the cover art?

Opinions welcome.


  1. Re: the title - I thought Grit and Grace WAS the title until I read your Aug 2 entry this morning! It's so logical and fitting... voting yes.

  2. Thanks, Amanda. I am getting a good response to this title and getting more comfortable with it. Stay tuned.

    Love your blog!

  3. Brenda, I believe you will walk a very fine line when you tell the lessons of your story without shouting too loud. I read in one of Anne Lamont's books that she had a partner - another writer - with whom she shared her drafts. She said when something just didn't seem right, the partner was quick to tell her. I always thought that was very brave of her.

    I believe anything John Lynner Peterson photographs for you will be wonderful.

  4. Thanks for your comment, Gayle. I actually think the brave stance would be NOT having other writers read your work prior to publishing. I have had several and will continue to have others look over my shoulder.

    I'll pass your compliment on to the photographer!