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Writing a Memoir?

an empty billboard symbolizing a blank canvas or empty page

Recently, my sister said to me, “If your songs aren’t getting as much air time on the radio, it’s time to release another album.”

Point taken.

After a whirlwind of interviews in 2020 for my first book, It’s Good to Be Here, I haven’t had any requests since 2021 began. I seem to be getting more social media messages from strangers who have read my book, for which I am grateful (and by which I am continually amazed.) But I know that It’s Good to Be Here, published in November of 2019, isn’t getting as much “play time” through my publisher or on Catholic radio and TV stations, so…

It’s time.

It’s time to write another book. And that next book may very well be the book that most people who know me were expecting me to write the first time: the story of my life.

A Memoir? Really?

The question is, What is the story of my life? I’ve talked about writing a memoir, but that sounds so pretentious. Memoirs are written by world-renowned celebrities or world leaders. There isn’t any standard of measurement that would put me into either of these groups AT ALL. I’m not famous. Not even in my own mind. I’m the leader of nothing except a fairly ordinary life, albeit a life lived an other than ordinary way. I don’t believe that I should write a memoir.

However, the story of my conversion actually is something that I believe is worth sharing. I have even shared parts of it on some of those global interviews. Given the world that we live in, I can see how the story of my faith journey could be beneficial to others. But…

Where do I begin? With the beginning, one may naturally say. The beginning of my life? I have no desire to write a “I was born in…” kind of story. The story of my faith journey is, in full reality, the story of my life, and I have tried to write this story for decades. I’ve failed in every attempt. The book that I ended up writing, the book that was actually published by a legitimate publisher, began as my attempt NOT to write the story of my life. Not being able to get the “memoir” finished, I tried to finish something else. Anything else. My strategy worked and I completed a book! The book of reflections on Christ’s human life also contained reflections on my own little life, which I thought would satisfy my family and friends who think that my life story is worth sharing in bounded pages.

It didn’t.

I see that I still need to write to my “memoir.”

Okay, no, no, not a memoir — I’m just going to call it my conversion story with sufficient prologue and epilogue. This process, I know, will be emotionally trying (as well as a test of my memory) and will need to involve my family to some extent. Writing the story of my life will require me to be brave in order to share the awkward, the unflattering, and the painful. True, I’m used to boldly sharing myself in this blog … but my full story is much more difficult to tell. I’m still not even sure how much I want to tell.

Nevertheless, my story will be told.

Deep Breath. The Pledge.

The only way that the first book got written was by force. I set a deadline for myself and made my intention a public vow. (Keeping my word as a matter of pride is a powerful force for me.) Posting my resolution on this blog, I asked my readers to pester me until I got it done. And it worked! So, here and now, I’m going to try the same technique again.

At the beginning of May (yes, I know, this weekend) I will begin writing my first draft of my conversion story and have that first draft completed by the first of November. To that end, in order to give me time to write, I will only be posting reflections here on the first and third Thursdays of each month. July and September contain five Thursdays, so on those fifth Thursdays I will give you all an update on the progress of my draft.

Once the draft is completed, I will look for some beta readers as I prepare the send-to-publisher draft, to be completed by April 2022. Yes, I realize that this is a longer stretch of time than I allowed myself on the first go around, but my strength is less than it was three years ago (that’s the nature of my genetic disease) and the subject matter is much thornier. (Remember, the subject matter this time is me. Ugh.) But — God willing — I will have that first draft done by November 1, 2021.

There. I’ve declared it.

Now bug me into fulfillment.

Please!

(And a quick prayer couldn’t hurt. 🙂 )

© 2021 Christina Chase


Feature Photo by Gavin Allanwood on Unsplash

Christina Chase View All

Although crippled by disease, I'm fully alive in love. I write about the terrible beauty and sacred wonder of life, while living with physical disability and severe dependency. A revert to the Catholic faith through atheism, I'm not afraid to ask life's big questions. I explore what it means to be fully human through my weekly blog and have written a book: It's Good to Be Here, published by Sophia Institute Press.

8 thoughts on “Writing a Memoir? Leave a comment

  1. Christina, I am so happy that you are going to be writing a new book!!
    You have no idea how inspiring your first book was for me and I’m sure many others!
    God has blessed you with an amazing gift to touch others Hearts through your writing, your devotion to God, and your life!
    I have never met you & I never knew anything about your book. I Was searching the sacred heart of Jesus on Amazon and I came across your book – I totally felt like God placed your book in my hands! Your book brought me closer to God & I am learning to trust God more and surrender to His sacred heart. You continue to inspire me each week with your writing. God is guiding you to tell your life story because He knows your story will bring others closer to Him!
    My prayers are sent to encourage you as you begin writing in May-A perfect time to begin since it’s the mouth Dedicated to Mother Mary. She will guide you perfectly!!

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    • Thank you very, very much for this encouragement, Theresa! I do believe that God wants me to share my faith journey, and I pray that I will be able to tell it well. Your prayers are much appreciated! I hadn’t considered that I would be starting in the month dedicated to the Virgin Mother — that makes it more beautiful!

      You are one of the wonderful people who reached out to me about my book! Sending you much appreciation for that! The fact that you happened to come across my book and that it truly touched you is a marvel to me. God is good! May we all learn to grow in trust and intimacy with the Sacred Heart. Life is definitely a journey! Thankfully, God provides the map, sufficient sustenance, and companionship for the way.

      Pax Christi
      Christina

      Like

    • You are part of my journey, so you may very well end up in the book! (Hopefully, you will still think it’s fantastic LOL)
      Please don’t forget to bug me — with love, of course.

      Like

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