This month of May marks the one-year anniversary of the publication of Word for Word: A Writer's Life, so it's a moment to reflect on the transformative experience of writing a memoir.
As I worked on the book, I felt many emotions--from sadness to gratitude--while deepening my understanding of the past. Looking back made me glad about taking big risks and regretful about avoiding some of them. I felt sorry about not joining the Peace Corps but pleased about writing a biography of Georgia O'Keeffe.
Reliving the past made me sad about staying in difficult relationships too long, but enormously grateful about meeting my husband, Robert Kipniss, on another May day thirty years ago.
Publishing a revealing memoir last year was among my biggest gambles. I had to be ready to ignore any negative reactions to how I lived and how I wrote about it. The risk turned out to be well worth it thanks to your and others' gratifying reactions. Many thanks!
With warm wishes,
Questions for Readers:
I started this monthly newsletter more than a year ago with a promise to report on the writing life.
It inevitably became mostly about my writing life and the publication of my memoir. Now that publication is in the past, I'd like to ask a few questions about the direction of the newsletter.
What would you like to know about? Other books, other writers? More about the risks and rewards of the creative life? Or what?
News About Word for Word
August 1st: When a Main Street Moxie interview will be aired in a podcast about the nerve it took to write my memoir and the O'Keeffe biography without permission.
August 5th, 5:30 to 7:30 pm: I'll be signing copies of Word for Word at the Sharon Summer Book Signing. The gala event held under tents will be behind the library on Upper Main Street in Sharon, Connecticut.