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FIVE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE WRITING A MEMOIR

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Guest Writer, Chevonette James-Henry | June 18, 2024| Blog- Writing Memoir

Embarking on the journey of writing and publishing your first book is a thrilling yet daunting endeavor. As an aspiring author, I delved into the process with passion and determination, eager to share my story with the world. Little did I know that beyond the pages of my manuscript, I would uncover invaluable lessons that would shape not only my writing journey but also my personal growth and development. I’ve had dreams of becoming an author and touching the lives of people through my writing since I was five (5) years old. But at age twelve (12) I packed up that dream and with it my hopes of becoming an author. In 2018 I unpacked that dream and took on the challenge of penning the story of one of my students. After months of writing, finally getting to the end of my first book was a major accomplishment and life-changing experience.

Along the journey I learnt five (5) valuable lessons:

Embrace Vulnerability and Authenticity

One of the most profound lessons I learned from writing my first book was the importance of embracing vulnerability and authenticity. As I navigated through the intricacies of crafting poetry and prose, I realized that my most compelling writing emerged when I allowed myself to be vulnerable and authentic. It was in moments of raw honesty and emotional transparency that my words resonated deeply with readers, forging genuine connections and fostering empathy. Through the process of baring my soul on the pages of my book, I discovered the transformative power of authenticity, both in writing and in life.

Perseverance Triumphs Over Perfectionism

The journey of writing a book is riddled with challenges and setbacks, testing the resilience and determination of even the most seasoned authors. As I embarked on my writing journey, I quickly realized that perfectionism was my greatest adversary. The relentless pursuit of

through trial and error, I learned that perfection is an unattainable standard and that true growth lies in embracing imperfection and embracing perseverance. By letting go of the need for perfection and focusing instead on progress and perseverance, I found renewed energy and motivation to push through obstacles and bring my vision to life.

Small, Daily, Consistent Work Adds Up.

In the three (3) months it took to write the book I wrote every day, whether I felt like it or not. It meant writing in the wee hours of the morning as that was the only available time regardless of quality. Over time, those repeated small efforts coalesced into the finished product…my book.

Writing from the Heart is the Greatest Gift You have to Give

In a world that often values perfection and polish above all else, writing from the heart is a radical act of self-expression, authenticity, and vulnerability. It is a gift you have the power to connect, inspire, and transform in ways we never imagined possible. I believed in my student’s story and her desire to help the word through her struggles and hardships with Cerebral Palsy. I therefore wrote from a place of passion and motivation. These became my ‘push’ when I felt down and wanted to give up.So, embrace the gift of writing from the heart, and let your words become a beacon of light, love, and hope in a world that sorely needs it.

Waiting Until You Feel Ready is a Mistake

In life, we often find ourselves waiting for the perfect moment—the right time to pursue our dreams, take risks, or embark on new adventures. I’ve struggled so much with fears,  always thinking I need more experience, a more dependable laptop, more money, more knowledge, or more time to get started. The truth is you will never feel completely ready but you do it anyway.

In a nutshell,growth occurs outside of your comfort zone, and by taking action and facing your fears, you open yourself up to new experiences, opportunities, and possibilities. So, don’t wait until you feel ready- embrace the journey and take the first step towards realizing your dreams today.

Author’s Bio

Chevonette James-Henry is an author, poet, motivational speaker, mentor and an educator. She is the author of the books: Defying the Odds: CP & Me, Loose to Live, Struggles of the Mind, Shades of Survival as well as  Loose to Live, This Girl Can: This Girl Will, She T.H.R.I.V.E.S and Unstoppable: Faith Unleashed Journals. She is a multiple Indie awardee who has been featured on several platforms locally and internationally. Chevonette is a native of Jamaica ,  a lover of books, advocacy, family and rivers. She is married to Rev. Dr. Andrew Henry and mother of Jon-Mark, Jor-Dan and Joi-Ann.

You can connect with her on: Tiktok, threads & Instagram @ chevhen97 & fitted_4_purpose, LinkedIn and Facebook @ chevonettejameshenry or send her an email @chevhen99@gmail.com.

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