Tuesday, November 3, 2020

IWSG Blog Hop: Writing to Discover and Understand Me


Hello and Welcome to the Focused on Story Blog 
AND the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop

Always on the first Wednesday of the month.

What is the Insecure Writer's Support Group?
Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter. To find out more, click this link:  Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The purpose of the group is 
* to share and encourage. 
* Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. 
* Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. 
*It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! 
You're invited to become a member of this supportive group. Click here to sign-up to join.
The awesome co-hosts for the November 4 posting of the IWSG are Jemi Fraser, Kim Lajevardi, L.G Keltner, Tyrean Martinson, and Rachna Chhabria!

Question of the month

November 4 question - Albert Camus once said, “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” Flannery O’Conner said, “I write to discover what I know.” Authors across time and distance have had many reasons to write. Why do you write what you write?

I just finished my final manuscript for my memoir, Arranging a Dream: a Memoir, and sent it off to my publisher yesterday. Do you feel like I do when I "let it go" out into the world? Scared to hear comments about it, but glad that I have the opportunity to enrich a reader's life with my words.

Arranging a Dream: a Memoir by J.Q. Rose
Official book launch January 1, 2021

I have written mysteries to entertain readers, but along the way, a message comes through without my knowing it until the book is done. A memoir, also known as creative non-fiction, is so different from writing fiction where everything is made up. The writer can go hog-wild and write about alien worlds, space operas, contemporary romance and no one cares if it's true. I stay away from historicals because I know the readers are well-versed in the era and can pick up on details that are not true to the times.

A memoir tells the truth about real life. That is very difficult for a fiction writer! A memoir only covers a slice of life, not the entire life from beginning to present. 

I wrote my story thinking it would be for my kids. I wanted to encourage our kids to dream big for their lives. I chose to write about the first year we were in the flower business. That was our dream--to be entrepreneurs in the greenhouse business. Somehow, we fell in love with a greenhouse operation attached to a flower shop. What's your passion? Find your passion and go for it. 

As I wrote it, the story turned into something like fiction because I had the character, me, and conflicts, the previous owner and not knowing a thing about business or floral design, and such a great setting. I thought this story could inspire folks not to give up on their dreams. To go for it. That's when I decided to approach my publisher to see if she would consider publishing my memoir, and she said yes. So the book's official launch date from BWL Publishing is January 1, 2021. What a way to start the new year, eh?

"I write to discover what I know."--My discovery, as I looked back through the lens of time, is how much the previous owner and I were alike. In fact, I treated the young couple who bought our business just like Hattie treated me! She was condescending to me and took on the role of my sixth-grade teacher always finding fault.

Now I know why--because they, like us when we bought Hattie's business, wanted to change things. I understand why Hattie would get upset with us. Change is hard. The fear that the change will ruin the business for the new owners and for the seller is real. I never made that connection until I finished the book. 

Memoir writing does that for those who visit events through a new perspective--time. Writers discover more about themselves during the journey. And that's what it is--a journey for a new understanding.

I hope you will try it. So much fun sharing the good old days with friends and family and getting their perspectives on what occurred so many years ago. Believe me, each person will have a different recollection about past experiences even if you were there with them. 

November is National Life Writing Month

November is National Life Writing Month. Time to break out a journal or notebook and make some entries about your life. If you don't know how to begin, google "life story writing prompts" or "memoir prompts." 

Your Words, Your Life Story: A Journal for Sharing Memories
by J.Q. Rose

I can also offer a shameless plug for my book on telling your life story which helps spark memories. I cannot help it. I am a life storytelling evangelist!
Click here for the book, Your Words, Your Life Story packed with tips to get you started and keep you going on your journey.

 And an invite to my private FB group for life storytellers. Click here to join Telling Your Life Story and Memoirs Circle.

Thank you for stopping in.  Click here to visit more participating bloggers.


Diane Burton said...

I found your discoveries (as you wrote your memoir) of things you didn't realize fascinating. Isn't hindsight great? LOL What a treasure for your kids...and the rest of us.

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's awesome that you started out writing it for your kids and the project expanded even more. Congrats on getting it published. I'm glad to shout out about it in my Follower News when it releases.

Pat Garcia said...

Yes, I feel like that too when I put a manuscript in someone else's hands. You're not alone.
Wishing you all the best and I'm looking forward to your memoir coming out.
Shalom aleichem,
Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

Diana Stout said...

I write to discover what I know. I LOVE that line. May your discoveries be great and fill your lifetime!

Marsha said...

Hey, JQ. Can't wait to read the memoir. I've shared. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

I've published both Nonfiction (on our journey with dementia) and Fiction (romantic suspense) this year and there is a definite difference in the approach to both! Good luck with your release!

Jacqui said...

Congratulations on your newest book, Janet. Nothing feels better than pushing those out of the nest.

cleemckenzie said...

Writing a memoir is quite an undertaking. Huge congratulations on getting it done!

J.Q. Rose said...

Thank you, Diane. I question if I should have revealed some things in the story that will surprise the kids!!

J.Q. Rose said...

Thank you, Natalie! I'd love a shout out.

J.Q. Rose said...

I know Pat. We become so attached to our work and want to protect it from criticism. But I do hope the story will inspire someone to jump in and make their dream come to life.

J.Q. Rose said...

Awwww. My eyes misted over with your comment. Thank you.

J.Q. Rose said...

Marsha, I look forward to your reading it! Maybe you'll be inspired to write one too about your teaching/administrative years. Great stories in there, I bet. Thanks for sharing!

J.Q. Rose said...

Thank you, Jemi. So you know how tempting it is to not quite tell the truth and twist it a bit. It's hard to stay strong, but I promised myself, no fiction in the story. Well, there are conversations that after 40 years I couldn't recall them exactly. That's why memoirs are called creative non-fiction.

J.Q. Rose said...

Yes, it's pretty exciting to know soon the story will be in a reader's hands. Thank you.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thank you. Yes, I've worked on this for 6 plus years off and on. So happy I had the time to finish it.

Ellen Jacobson said...

Congrats on the upcoming release. What a gorgeous cover! Kudos to you!

J.Q. Rose said...

Thank you, Ellen.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Good luck with the upcoming release and the manuscript you sent in!

emaginette said...

Congrats! I love the cover. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

Fundy Blue said...

Way to go, J.Q.! Congratulations on getting your book published! You give me hope. I've been struggling with my memoir for a long time. It hurts my heart ~ the story, and hurts my brain, the writing. I'm pushing myself forward by doing NaNo for the first time. Thanks for the invite to join the Telling Your Life Story and Memoirs Circle on FB. I'm going to join. I have a problem with consistency in visiting FB, but I'm looking forward to seeing your book. Your cover is so pretty! How lovely to spend your life among flowers! Take care!

Sandra Cox said...

I'm so proud of you for taking this giant leap. I'm not sure I'd have the courage. It's a wonderful read and fascinating story. Do you have a new cover? I love it!

Helena Fairfax said...

Hi JQ, I'm really looking forward to reading your memoir. Congratulations on finishing it and on getting it published. It will be a great record for your family in future generations.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks, Alex.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thank you, Anna.

J.Q. Rose said...

Struggling when writing a memoir is part of the job description, but you will learn a lot about yourself and the events by the time you finish. It's a journey of discovery. Keep going. You can do it. Please do pop in to my FB group. I do not take attendance! LOL. Just drop in when have time. That's one good thing. You can catch up anytime. Everything is there when you need it. Thank you.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thank you, Sandra. You really helped me take wings after you read it with your kind words about it. The cover makes me happy.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thank you for your congratulations, Helena. Looking forward to sharing the story with you.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Congratulations, Janet. You accomplished a huge feat. Hope you're celebrating.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks, Joylene. A little late replying. I plan to celebrate for sure.

Happy Independence Day to My IWSG Friends and Readers!!! #IWSGBlogHop, #fourthofjuly

  Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop #IWSGbloghop What is the Insecure Writer's Support Group? Founded by author   Alex J. Cavanaug...

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