Writing the Ugliness

Book development is an ever-changing and evolving process. It is a process that not only requires you to be agile and open, but demands it. And this is where it can be painful for an author. 

In the beginning of my book vision for “Girl on the Right: Memoir of a Life Upside Down,” I created an outline of topics that I believed to fit with the theme (meme inspiration), and then made a more formal  outline with chapter titles, which were divided into sections. This isn’t a chronological accounting of my life, exactly, it is more of a collection of essays that flow, and are related to the theme. Does that make sense? A big part of my vision is for readers to flip through, should they choose, and read whatever chapter they are led to at the moment. I love the freedom in that, but I am unconventional and see possibilities in everything.

I’ve written about things like motherhood, marriage, friendship, education, career, and the like. In all, my writing has followed along with the book outline. Kind of odd for an unconventional girl like me, actually. I have a host of topics left to cover, but today has been filled with signs of what I need to write about next: all the ugliness that I’ve been subconsciously avoiding, but won’t stay silent any longer. As a writer, this happens often. Word bursts come to me at all hours (particularly between 10 PM – 2 AM). They are insistent and take shape in a way that makes me believe that they have been gifted to me from some unseen, all-knowing source.  So now I will follow the source and step away from my structured outline and write my truth. The ugly, sad, hard to share truth. 

Most of my life has been an open book. I have seldom refrained from sharing experiences, life lessons, or things that have shaped me. I have this idea in my mind that readers, especially those that know me, are expecting a humorous, offbeat, giggle-inducing memoir. I know there will be some of that, of course, because that’s who I am. But this other side? The side that owns and admits to much darker truth? I don’t know how it will be received. 

I am off to the Land of Ugliness. Wish me luck. 

Bella Vida, loves!


3 thoughts on “Writing the Ugliness

  1. Hi Tina…
    Without the ugliness, we can’t appreciate the beauty. Without the darkness, we can’t exude light. I’ve been down this path, taken this journey that you are about to embark. I must warn you…You need skin as thick as leather. You will find love and support from readers and friends. That’s to be expected. But beware “the nasties.” These are the readers who drain to know all, and carefully, systematically pick apart your every word and meaning. I say this not to discourage you in any way. On the contrary, I believe with all my heart that one must uncover the demons before you can conquer them. Writing your story, your way, is a validation of survival; a validation that it happened, and you came through to the other side…battered, broken, but not ruined.

    My best advice is avoid engagement of any kind. “Silence is the deadliest form of warfare. You leave your opponent with no recourse or ammunition to use against you.”~TF Write your truth, your way, then read it over and over and over. You’ll be amazed at the depth of your own insight. We don’t heal from these trials, sister (no one can experience these things a fully get over it) but by the Grace of God, we’re still here.
    I wish you peace…


    1. Taylor, this is wonderful advice, and I appreciate your taking the time to encourage and mentor me. I am looking forward (if that is appropriate) to reading your truth, and am certain we will have some newly discovered commonalities. There are so many, too many, of us. But I will surely be the victor and heroine of my story. The ending is the best part: She survives. And she not only survives, she thrives!

      Liked by 1 person

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