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Four Things To Consider Before Telling Your Story To The World
From:
Kathryn Brown Ramsperger -- Author & Intuitive Life Coach(R) Kathryn Brown Ramsperger -- Author & Intuitive Life Coach(R)
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Rockville , MD
Friday, September 04, 2020

 

A part of you wants to write about your experience, yet another part is cautious. On the one hand, you believe your story will resonate with many people. On the other, you’re not sure you want your life to be open to public scrutiny. As a writer, I try to exercise caution because I know that once my words are in print (or in cyberspace) they cannot be recalled, they are out there forever. Yet as a coach and counselor, I understand the value in sharing my experiences with others who may be facing the very challenges I overcame in my own life. Here are some questions to ponder before telling your story to the world.

1) Will your story be true and factual to the best of your knowledge?

Our memories are faulty to an extent and sometimes we wonder about the details surrounding an event. Did it really happen on a Tuesday or was it a Friday? Would that detail matter in terms of your story? Consistency is important, even if every little detail is not spot-on. What’s essential is that you’re telling about a period of your life as you believe it happened. Authenticity is the key.

2) Will the identities of other people need to be protected?

Besides any legal ramifications of naming names and putting individuals in a bad light, would it be it ethical to identify them? For example, let’s say you grew up with an alcoholic and drug-addicted parent who later in life became clean and sober. There has been clear transformation in the person. Would it be in your parent’s and your own best interest to identify them? Would it do more harm than good?

I am not in a position to give legal advice, so get legal counsel if necessary. However, I think it would be prudent to get permission from anyone who might be portrayed in a less-than-favorable light. I let them read what I write. I’ve never had anyone say “no,” or feel betrayed, and I’ve been telling people’s stories for four decades. Consider your relationships with the persons involved in your story. Are you on good terms with them? Will your story damage those relationships? It may be better to write your story as a novel, changing names, locations, and other identifying details. Fictionalizing your story can often give you more freedom in what you write. Not because of the people you’re writing about, but because it will create better flow, in you, the writer.

3) Do you have a compelling reason to write the story?

People write memoirs for many reasons. An article in Psychology Today describes reasons one should or should not write a memoir. Some authors wish to preserve family histories. Perhaps their grandparents or great-grandparents were immigrants who moved to experience freedom and build a new life. Some write to untangle their past and discover who they are today. Others feel a need to “clear the air. Or they write because they achieved success of some kind or overcame the odds and they want their story to be an inspiration to readers going through the same kind of circumstances. Determine your reason. Flesh out what you wish to achieve, because your “why” will become the driving force behind your writing and push you through to completion.

4) Are you equipped to handle criticism from telling your story to the world?

Let’s face it; no one likes criticism. Yet criticism is taken to a whole new level when it comes from friends, family members, and a public that doesn’t know or understand—let alone have compassion—for the writer or story teller. Even if your story puts everyone in a good light, those who know you and your family history may be critical because they have a totally different take on things.

Critical reactions from family often sound like this: 

“Oh, it didn’t happen that way!”
“This situation is exaggerated!”
“Mom never said that.”
“Maybe this thing happened, but you’ve got the reasons all wrong.”

Critical reactions from the public are typically along the lines of:

“The author is just trying to profit off a bad situation.”
“Nothing more than hype.”
“The author seems to have an ax to grind.”
“Her life sounds too good to be true.”

Responses to your story can be hurtful. While no one is completely prepared for blow back, you’re never immune. You can minimize the pain by remembering your “why,” your reasons for sharing your story to begin with. Also, remember your intent. If it was to help, not harm, then you can hold your head and esteem high.

Christina Crawford, who wrote a tell-all book about growing up with her abusive, famous mother  Joan Crawford said of her critics,“And I never replied to any of them, or responded. I simply stuck to the message that I knew to be the truth.”

Should you tell your story to the world? Only you can decide, but know this: Everyone has a story. You may believe you live a fairly boring life—which may or may not be so—but no one can look at life through your eyes. Your perspective, thoughts, and beliefs are unique. Whether you write to inform, entertain, confront your demons, or transform readers, your story has power to change the world around you, and perhaps most importantly, telling your story will change you!

I can help you step into your life and your story. It’s not insurmountable to finish and share a book. You can contact me here if you want to find out how easy it to express who you are. You can also learn more about writing on my blog.
News Media Interview Contact
Name: Kathryn Brown Ramsperger
Title: Author & Coach
Group: Ground One LLC
Dateline: North Bethesda, MD United States
Direct Phone: 301-503-5150
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