How Morhaf Al Achkar Created a Compelling Sense of Urgency with His Memoir
Take an Inside Look at the Process Behind "Being Authentic"
With the reality of COVID-19 breathing down everyone’s neck, most of us have been forced to face what we usually have the luxury to distract ourselves from – our mortality. Now’s been a time where for the most part, we’ve united in the world to be sure to follow safety guidelines from this virus that has killed over 100,000 of us, and counting.
For most of us, the threat isn’t as imminent, so it’s easy to forget that there are people that are really risking their lives right now because of pre-existing conditions. Morhaf Al Achkar bravely wrote a memoir where he really comes face to face with the fact that he might die if not from the COVID-19, then from the residual effects of having struggled with stage 4 lung cancer last year. In spite of the deeply vulnerable circumstances that he’s living in, he’s decided to face one of the most feared aspects of humanity- death, and wrote a book in which he is in control of his narrative.
There are many individuals out there who read memoirs or think they have memoir-worthy lives, but fail to hold a reader when it comes to writing their own. There’s simply no sense of urgency- no reason for the reader to detach from their immediate reality and throw themselves in their book. Good writing convinces the reader, from the beginning, that they have something life or death worthy so that the reader can literally stop his reality and dare to learn something that may aid in his or her survival.
Morhaf Al Achkar does exactly that.
Here’s another detail that makes his memoir stand out in comparison to all those other ones out there. Not only does the author recant memories that have shaped who he is, but he writes responses that fit, almost poetically, that detail his responses or reflections to those actions. Lots of memoirs take for granted that by simply describing an action, the reader will know how they author will feel, but this is not always the case.
Therefore, by reading Being Authentic, would-be memoirists learn two simple lessons:
- Create a compelling sense of urgency to make the reader interested enough to continue reading.
- Keep the actual writing interesting by adding reactions to responses that the author has had over time to events.
And for READERS that are simply interested in enjoying a good book, Being Authentic not only has substantial literary merit, but it’s relevant in the sense of it addressing a current national crisis- COVID-19. As I pointed out earlier, many people, including myself, don’t know anyone who is highly susceptible to not only getting the virus, but dying from it. This book is necessary because it creates a healthy reminder to be concerned when we take our chances breaking rules from social distancing.