Why was I so determine to write it for so many years?
At the very beginning, I wrote it for myself. It was not unlike what I sometime saw in movies. Because the thoughts were so jumbled up, I made lists. I went through what I remembered repeatedly. Then I shared my notes with my friends because I wanted them to know. This was part of me. One day, after reading another memoir, I thought to myself, I could write a memoir! It might help others. I want to show you what it was like! If you were me, what would you do? Even if I helped or connected with just one person. I am very aware that not everyone who has schizophrenia ends up as lucky as I am. Because I am privileged to be able to tell my story, I should, even if it’s just one voice in this world of 7.5 billion people. With this target, wanting to share my story, during breaks between work, I wrote and edited, slowly and steadily.
Would anyone read it?
I did some mental calculation and I have decided that if 50 people bought and read my memoir, I would be happy.
Some of my friends, family, and doctors have read this along the way multiple times. Some of them have said that they can’t wait to read the final work! For people who know me, they are interested in getting to know me more. I feel very blessed and supported. Half of the 50 people would probably be them.
Now with people who don’t know me personally. Two years ago, I had submitted my manuscript to 31 agents in the US. A few wrote back and politely declined. However, I did receive two notes that were encouraging: keep writing! I had also tried to get into the Memoir Incubator program at GrubStreet and did not get selected. They only took ten and competition was fierce, I was told. I did not get a warm and fuzzy about my writing. I know my writing is no hard-core literature material.
At this juncture, someone suggested that perhaps I should consider using a ghostwriter. A woman rewrote the first page of my manuscript and I decided that this would not work for me. It’s my story. I want it in my own words.
Prior to publishing, I got feedback from two people: my editor Beth and my First Reader Tracy. They both told me positive things. I read it again and thought, Okay, I am going to send it out to the world!
I want to be realistic and practical. I can’t predict if anyone will read my memoir, like it, and recommend it. I don’t know who it will resonate with. But I know that I have done my part and my best to add one more voice of someone with schizophrenia to the world.
I thought I should capture my thoughts at this moment so that I don’t lose the sight of the Why when Becoming Whole is published, whatever the outcome might be.