Princess Zoe

I’ve been thinking about what Billy Coffey is going to talk about at the National Association of Memoir Writers Free Telesummit coming up on Friday. His topic is Being For Real: Building a Personable and Approachable Image in a Digital World.

Being authentic is actually a subject that I spend time thinking about—because memoirists are supposed to be “real” on the page, to tell the truth, to expose the inner worlds of their lives, families, and hearts–right?. All that exposure: isn’t that “being real?”
Well, it depends. We use words to shape perception. Words convey inner truths very deeply, or words can cover up what we really feel.

Authenticity? The question is—how much of our real selves do we feel comfortable revealing anyway? Nowdays, it seems that everyone is confessing and revealing everything on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs–all over the web. Some people wonder if there will ever be such a thing as privacy again.

Yet, if you are author who wants to connect with real people—after all those are real people out there behind the pictures on Facebook—then what do you need to do? What blockages do you have in your willingness to share your personality, to find the words to express the uniqueness of who you are?

I do feel that Billy Coffey expresses his unique personality on his blog. He has photos taken by his wife, he talks about real issues in his life, his thoughts, feelings, and philosophy. Even if I don’t agree with everything he might share, I feel that I’ve had contact with a whole human being when I read his blog. He seems authentic—there’s that word again.

I feel that I can do more to show my personality, yet want to find privacy too in how much I put on the web. What is the balance, I wonder? So I’m really going to enjoy my discussion with Billy on Friday.

He’s the first guest at the NAMW FREE Telesummit, and it’s a great way to kick off the day. Go here to sign up for the telesummit, and even if you can’t come, you will get an audio of all the presentations to download or burn on a CD.

Now, back to the paragraph in my new memoir piece After the Memoir. I was writing about my perky 4 year old granddaughter, Zoe! She’s my guru about being real. She always says what she’s thinking. “Nana, I love your hair. What are those lines around your lips?”

Well, at least she’s being real. I hug her, and we talk about her pink princess dress, and how she wants to be a princess when she grows up. I sink into her fictional world of princesses and pretty dresses. After all, isn’t that what writing is all about–creating another world? I’m authentically joining Zoe in the imaginative world she’s painting around me, grateful for the respite from all that “reality.”

My new memoir posts will be about the new world you will find yourself in after you write your memoir, after you have completed your story and publish. Then more stories begin, and life goes on.

Keep writing, and find your authentic voice!