I have fourteen brothers and sisters, but I don’t usually lead with that piece of information unless I’m looking for shock value. Even then, I always get the same 10 invasive questions so if I don’t feel like answering them, I withhold that tidbit about my siblings from my acquaintance.
For the sake of us getting to know one another quickly, I’ll run through the short version to quench your curiosity right off the bat. But don’t worry, we’ll get more into all of this later.
- Are you Morman? No.
- Catholic? No.
- So there are 14 of you? No. Fifteen. I have 14 siblings. Plus me.
- How many boys, how many girls? Five girls, ten boys.
- All from the same mom and dad? Yep.
- Where are you in the lineup? I’m the third oldest.
- What’s the age range? There are 22 years from the oldest to the youngest.
- So your mom was pregnant for 22 years? Basically, yeah.
- Wow. She must be an amazing woman. Yeah.
- So what’s it like, being from such a big family?
Let’s actually start there.
So… NaNoWriMo has started. Surely you know of this by now. I’ve been writing novels in November for the past eight years and have blogged about it more than once.
Anyway, what you just read is the beginning of this years’ “novel.” You’re right, doesn’t sound like a novel. Sounds more like my actual life. It is. What I’m writing is memoir-ish. I haven’t decided if it’s truly a memoir or not, and I don’t know what the final structure will look like. (But I kinda like the beginning so far.)
I’d like it to be a book that helps people in some way, helps them discover their own true, unique, authentic self. Gives them courage to step outside of their bubble and explore beyond their bounds of comfort. I want it to be transformative, leaving my reader at the end with inspiration to put her stake in the ground and proudly declare, “This is who I am!”
But I don’t know how to write that book before I spend time writing about my own life, so that’s how I’m starting November. Writing all kinds of things about me, hoping I can turn it into something useful for other people and not a narcissistic “me“-moir. Writing my story to see where my inspiration lies and to flesh out what advice I would give to my younger self, based on my own life trajectory.
What do you think? Worth a read? Do you know of any books like this that I can look at as a model for my own? Ideas on what types of experiences would be worthwhile to include? Advice of your own I should try to work in there? The novel is young, it could go anywhere! Let me know what you think.
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