I often get asked what my family members thought about my memoir Float On. I wrote of some pretty personal family experiences in it that many people wouldn’t share, especially with strangers. For me it was important to tell the truth and be open about experiences that I had been through that I had hidden because of shame. I didn’t want any part of that anymore.
Which obviously doesn’t mean that my family would feel the same way. I decided to ask some questions first to my sister Nikki. I wrote about some of her hard times in particular because of their effect on me at the time. Nikki never told me not to publish Float On, and if she had, I wouldn’t have made it public. But she had her own thoughts about the content which I hadn’t asked specifically about until now.
Here are her answers to my questions –
1) If you could change any part of Float On, what would it be?
Sharing more about your own experiences from a deeper emotional perspective and how those experiences shaped your life. I would also not include the last chapter, as I believe it was disjointed and not applicable to the overall theme of the book.
2) What was the worst part of me publishing my memoir?
It is difficult to express the publication of your memoir from a simple explanation of “worst part” or “best part”. It is hard to honestly share personal, painful experiences with family and friends, let alone publish those experiences openly for anyone to read. I believe writing a memoir is one of the most vulnerable things a person can do. It can be very therapeutic to share our story with others.
However, I know it is also equally difficult for the family members, friends, significant others, and children to have their own personal and painful experiences shared from someone else’s perspective when they may not feel comfortable sharing those experiences with other people.
I think a person needs to be mentally prepared for the emotional reactions, internally and externally when sharing their story with anyone. If a person is not prepared it could be emotionally difficult or damaging.
3) What was the best part of me publishing my memoir?
See above. Here some additional thoughts — I would assume writing and sharing your life experiences was a cathartic experience for you. I hope it provided you a way to process your feelings and find a sense of peace, closure, understanding, and healing.
4) Do you ever feel like writing your own version of our family story?
5) Writing has been a powerful way for me to heal from long-term wounds. Since you are now a helping professional, any advice for other ways that people can heal?
I’ve learned it is vitally important to do your own work to understand, process, and heal from trauma and/or emotional long-term wounds. I strongly suggest finding a therapist you can trust and feel comfortable with and embark on in the process of deep self-exploration.
I would also suggest journaling, reading books and/or listening to podcast by reputable authors on trauma and healing, mindfulness meditation, prayer, attending group activities (bible study, group therapy, etc.) and learning how to practice self-care and self-compassion.
I think you’ll agree with me that’s Nikki is pretty special. Are there people in your life who you have questions for? What’s preventing you from asking?
PS – My online course Jump Start Your Memoir can help you tell your story. It’s all online and I’ve shared all that I learned from writing Float On. I’d love to partner with you on your writing aspirations, click here for more details.
PPS – In time for Christmas, my NEW ECookbook is available! All the recipes in Cooking For Fresh Flavor are inspired by using fresh produce both in savory and sweet applications. And did you know you can gift ebooks to others? 🙂