I am very excited for the Memoir Writing conference with NAMW I am attending next week. I learned there is an opportunity to read 3 minutes of my story to the audience. I loved the opportunity and immediately signed up for it. Then I felt so nervous. I started to doubt I could do it, whether I even had a good section ready to read, but I pushed the thoughts aside. I searched and it seems 3 minutes of reading is about 600 words for an average speaker. I wanted to select a section that has a start and finish to some extent. But which section? I am still writing the draft and learning how to write a story.
After giving it some thought, I made the decision to read the section that talks about the time my daughter and I spent in the US embassy in Ankara, Turkey for her visa. I read it to my daughter and my husband and they liked it. However the whole time I was reading it I was crying. We thought I could practice and would be able to control my emotions but a week later, I still felt the same; I felt too emotional about that part of the story. It was not fun being unable to manage my emotions but on the bright side I felt what I wrote came from my heart, and I hope it goes to my readers’ hearts. I am hoping to create that heart to heart connection with my readers.
I accepted that I am not ready to read that part and started searching for another piece. I picked the section that talks about how Mike and I would talk about our daughters at the beginning of our relationship, and the excitement I had meeting his daughter for the first time. I did cry the first couple of times I read that part out loud, but then the emotion was more manageable since it was about the happier part of the story. As soon as I managed my emotions, every time I read this section aloud, I found myself editing it more to make connections between the sentences to give the right flow to the story. I learned when I read it loud, I find the disconnects between the sentences much better. That was amazing. It was coming so naturally. I had heard about the benefits of reading your story out loud to have better edits but experiencing it was so much fun. it was a lot deeper and more beneficial than I thought. I hope I can find volunteer ears to hear me reading the draft to be able to edit it better.
Editing Credit: M. Curtis
Picture Credit: https://pixabay.com