I spent most of yesterday in bed, alternately quaffing cold meds and reading a newly released memoir. This was not as much fun as it sounds. The memoir disappointed me.
I had been told by a trusted blog friend that it wasn’t well written. The beginning was thin, but she had a few scenes that were gorgeous. I began to get suspicious. It wasn’t that she couldn’t write, but that she wasn’t writing well. The ending was strong, and then I read the acknowledgments.
Every word of her acknowledgment section was about how hard the process was, and how grateful she was to a wide variety of people who helped her along the way. Aha! She hated the process, hated writing a memoir, it made her feel uncomfortable, no wonder it was not as strong as it should have been.
And so I wonder if the time wasn’t right, and she couldn’t afford to wait, as she needed another book to be done. She had an advance and she couldn’t have the time to get it right, to send it through that one more draft and to change her format (which I think was one of her problems). It’s at times like these where I wonder if we—the closet writers—aren’t a little bit lucky. Although we don’t have the accesses to grants or advances, we at least have time to do it right.