Transforming Poetry Ebooks Into Memoir
Why I Wrote a Book of Poems
When my mother passed away in 2009, I couldn't write. I experienced writer's block. Every time I tried, I would cry. I couldn't concentrate. I was an emotional mess. So I did what I always did. I wrote in pieces, a word here, a word there. Those words became poetry. I used each verse to express my emotions, to deal with my grief, and to try and heal my pain.
A year later, I offered those poems in a book entitled, Solace: A Book of Poems. I wanted to share my experience with others, those who had experienced a loss or were still grieving a loved one. First, I offered it on Lulu.com as a paperback. I got a few sales. Then, in 2012, I offered it as an ebook on Amazon. I got a few more sales. But I didn't feel my readers connected with the book as I had hoped. I felt as if there was something missing. I couldn't figure it out back then, so I went on to write other ebooks, other stories. I knew I would go back to it eventually.
The Editing Process & Striving to Make My Ebook Better
A month ago, I decided to reread those poems and I realized they were more than just poetry. I was sharing the hurt I felt losing my mother. I was sharing my grief and my sadness. I was sharing family history and personal experiences. I knew I needed to share more, to explain how I got to each poem in the first place. I began the editing process. I decided to transform my ebook of poems into a memoir.
I began to write out the reasons for each poem, answering these questions as I went along:
-Why did I write that poem?
-How was I feeling at the time? And why?
-What were the events that lead to those feelings and emotions?
-What did I learn?
-How could I share what I learned with others?
-Did it help me deal with the pain? How?
-Did it help me grieve? How?
It was difficult to relive each moment. The pain of losing my mother came back and I found myself grieving all over again. But it needed to be done. Not only for myself but for others who are grieving as well.
Attracting Readers & Making Connections
I'm still learning how to attract readers. I'm a loner, a true introvert. I spend a lot of time writing and forget all about marketing strategies. Instead of thinking like a business person, I rather think like a writer and like a reader. That's what made me decide to reread my poems. That's what made me realize how I could improve. All I had to do was make it relatable, adding more information and making it more personal.
Then, I thought, what do I enjoy as a reader? I realized how much I love feeling connected to the writer, to the story, to the characters. I want that for my readers. I want them to have an experience. So now, I plan to reread each ebook I have available on Amazon and ask myself, how can I make it better? Then, I'm gonna continue to work on all the other books I have "resting" (a book waiting to be edited) and make those better too. I have a lot of work ahead of me but I'm so looking forward to it.
It's more than just poetry. It's more than just a story. It should be so much deeper than that. I hope my readers believe this too.
Writing With Purpose
I remember feeling alone in my grief. No one understood why it was taking me so long. So I grieved in silence. I cried alone. I know there are others out there grieving in silence too. Those are the people I want to reach. I want to let them know that they are not alone. I want to give them hope and remind them that it really does get better... with time.
Back in 2009, I wrote those poems to heal my wounds and to mourn and honor my mother. I didn't know that I would use those poems to create a memoir. I didn't know how personal it would become. This clearly shows how much I've changed, both as a person and as a writer. I know grieving my mother and writing out those poems had a lot to do with it.
Grief changed me. It humbled me. It made me stronger, wiser, more grounded. I'm now using what I've learned to make my ebook better, to make it stronger, to make it more relatable. That's my reason for writing and for living. I want to grow, deepening in wisdom. I want to share that growth in the best form possible, to teach and guide others. But I also want to live by example. In life, as in the writing process, there's always room for improvement. Because if the reader doesn't connect with the writer, what's the point?
So Let's Recap
- Don't just write poetry, share the reasons behind each poem.
- Get personal and share your truth. Help the reader connect with you, your poems, and your story.
- Learn from your experiences. It may take time, so be patient.
- Share what you've learned and even what you haven't (yet).
- Edit constantly. Allow time to pass, days, months, years. Then edit again. You'll notice how much you can improve, how much you've grown and learned.
- Write for joy, for growth, and for healing.
- Every experience has value. You just have to work on the best ways to share it.
- Be honest. Write from the heart.
- Allow yourself to make mistakes. Don't be so hard on yourself.
- Keep writing, even if you think it's crap.
- And finally, enjoy the process. Find your flow. Do what works for you.
© 2018 Alexa Rosa