You may be familiar with the saying, the first draft of your memoir is for you. It’s often when a lot of the emotions and trauma tied to the topic of your memoir come to the surface and dance with you. After that first draft is done, it’s time to do a round of editing: self-editing. When it’s time for the second and third draft, you have your readers in mind.
What happens when it’s time to find an editor? How could you possibly send your memoir to a stranger for critical review? Afterall, you’re writing about your life, and potentially your trauma. How can an editor truly understand? If they don’t like what you’ve written, doesn’t it mean they don’t like you?
All those questions can trigger a trauma response in a writer, so it’s important for you to find an editor who understands that.
Your memoir has to be professionally edited; unfortunately, there’s no avoiding that step, but there are trauma-informed editors out there. These editors should have a safe feedback model for you to review. A safe feedback model is based on strengths, provides non-prescriptive opportunities for enhancing your memoir, and provides you with separation from the work.
Advocacy is Important
You’ve gone through a lot in your life, and the act of sharing your journey with others is an amazing gift, but don’t be afraid to continue to advocate while creating this gift. If the editor doesn’t ask you what kind of feedback you’re looking for, it’s well within your rights to request it.
That may mean a potential editor is not able to work with you in the manner you’d like. This is not a reflection on you. It’s a good thing! You want to find an editor that will work with you, and if an editor says no, then you’ll be closer to getting the editor you need.
Takes One to Know One
As you may know, I’m currently writing my memoir about religious trauma; I am walking the same journey as memoir writers and will eventually have to find the right editor for me – regardless of publishing path.
I’m happy to talk to you about any fears you may have and help you can navigate this stage of writing. Click here to book a no-expectation call.