Motivations of a memoir author
Despite my earlier habit of obsessing a bit over ratings and reviews of my first book I no longer scan the virtual horizon looking for criticism, thank God. I am grateful that reviewers and critics do their jobs, and I must remember where my motivations lie, and not be too much distracted.
It’s not that I don’t care. Part of me always will. But there is a much more significant part which knows that if even one person has been helped by what I write, then it was well to write it. The silent minority of readers whose experiences echo mine, will not leave reviews but they may read and be relieved.
Isolation is killing. Loneliness and depression cause unnecessary suffering and premature death. It is far better to speak out, and say the occasional thing one might regret, than say nothing, risk nothing, and wait for life to empty itself out, while we wonder about what might have been, if only we’d had the courage to act.
To quote from an earlier blog I posted while narrating the audio book:-
‘I have a wonderful life. I have freedom to move and the space to express my preferences. I know that, most days, I do not do enough with that freedom, but at least I can move away from here. I have always known that, in life, it is having options that matters most.
There are millions of people in the world who suffer in silence, who endure cruelty, exclusion and neglect, and who have no-one to speak for them: millions of children who are misdiagnosed, misunderstood, pigeonholed, forgotten and overlooked: millions of adults who can do nothing about the places they find themselves in. As I write in my book,
“How many others with issues like mine are languishing in the shadows of institutional ignorance because their families listen politely to advice which owes more to prejudice and speculation than to hard facts or compassion? If it wasn’t for my mother’s decision so often to disagree, to go it alone, I would be in a “home,” possibly dead, having led only a teeny little bit of a life. No one would have known anything about me, or uncovered the thoughts lurking behind my eyes. The smallness of my life would have remained a hidden loss, overlooked, as the lives of so many disabled adults are overlooked.”
If my book can strike a blow for freedom of conscience, self-expression, human dignity and compassion, then the small terrors I have had to endure to get here today are well worth the price. God will give me the strength to do as I must. And, with that faith, together we can all join and create miracles. I do so hope you agree.’