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Memoir Writers are Master Sculptors, Part 1

Kathy Pooler is no stranger on these pages. From her informative blog post for The Memoir Network, from her post 8 Lessons I Learned On My Memoir Writer’s Journey, to her generous sharing on the interview I did with her for Month One of the Memoir Authority, she has shown herself to be a thoughtful leader in the memoir field. Her new memoir Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse, was published in July, and we are so pleased to have been included in her virtual book tour. Today’s post, Memoir Writers are Master Sculptors, Part 1, will be followed by another on Friday. Don’t miss either.–DL

Memoir Writers are Master Sculptors, Part 1: Envisioning Your Story

” Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” Michelangelo With the recent launch my first memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse, I am reminded that the process of envisioning, carving, chiseling and shaping our book can be likened to Michelangelo’s work with The Pieta. As authors, we are artists and we create masterpieces through our words. Here’s how memoir writers are master sculptors.

  • We start with an amorphous pile of vignettes like a sculptor starts with a slab of marble.
  • We spend endless hours looking at the pile before us and envisioning what its final shape will be.
  • We study our craft ahead of time so we know where to start, what tools to use and how to keep going.
  • We keep digging and carving into our pile until it begins to take shape.

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A sculptor starts with a slab of marble and a vision. We start with a collection of stories, generated by various methods. Memoir writers are like master sculptors in that we envision our story before it is written. But how do we find the structure of our memoir so our story can be written and sent out into the world? Our visions can become a reality. Stay tuned to Part 2 on 8/15. We will discuss various techniques and I will share what techniques helped me to find the structure for my memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse.

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Photo Credit: “Michelangelo’s Pieta” by Allie Caulfield uploaded from Flickr

Like the master sculptor, Michelangelo, we all need tools to “hew away the rough walls” that would imprison the “lovely apparition” of the story we need to tell. As I hold my “masterpiece “ in my hands, I feel satisfied that I gave it the time and care it needed to develop into the story it became, a slice of my life with a universal message of hope, courage and resilience for those struggling to find their inner strength. The Memoir NetworkWith every choice we make, there is a chance we take. 

Synopsis of Ever Faithful to His Lead:

A young woman who loses sight of the faith she has been brought up with attempts to find her way in the world, rejecting her stable roots in lieu of finding adventure and romance. Despite periods of spiritual renewal in which she receives a prophecy, she slides back, taking several self-defeating detours that take her through a series of heartbreaking events, including a second marriage that becomes abusive and a subsequent second divorce. When Kathy’s second husband, Dan’s verbal abuse escalates, Kathy finally realizes she must move on before she and her children become a statistic. Kathy is forced to take drastic action to save herself and Leigh Ann, 14 and Brian, 12. How does a young woman who came from a stable, loving family make so many wise choices when it came to career, but so many wrong choices when it came to love, so that she ended up sacrificing career and having to flee in broad daylight with her children from an abusive marriage? What is getting in her way and why does she keep taking so many self-defeating detours? The story opens up the day Kathy feels physically threatened for the first time in her three-year marriage to her second husband. This defining moment sends her on a journey of self-discovery to make sense of her life and discern what part she has played in the vulnerable circumstance she finds herself in. She must make a decision—face her self-defeating patterns that have led to this situation and move on or repeat her mistakes. Her life and the lives of her two children are dependent upon the choices she makes and the chances she takes from this point forward.

To order your copy: Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse

How about you? Have you envisioned your masterpiece? Please leave your comments below~

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