Why You Need to Publish Your Memoir NOW

From time to time in this space, Balboa Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. These are the words of Rachelle Chartrand, author of “CHRYSALIS“ . You can find out more about Rachelle and her book on her website, www.rachellechartrand.com, and Facebook. Download the Balboa Press free publishing guide to receive more information on self-publishing your book with Balboa Press. 

December 22, 2011

I have a confession to make. Well, I have lots of confessions to make, but that’s a whole different book.

I’m not much of a writer. I failed every essay I wrote in high school, even received a big fat zero on one. I’m an aspiring screenwriter, yes, but one of the reasons I like screenwriting (besides being an excuse to be alone), is that I don’t have to worry about proper sentence structure or florid prose. I can just transcribe the conversations going on in my head… and there are a lot of them. I also love watching movies, which I also get to do alone.

Rachelle Chartrand HeadshotThe only other writing I do is in my journal. I do post the occasional witty comment on Facebook, but usually second-guess myself and delete it immediately.

So, why am I writing a book? I have no flipping clue. Just kidding.

A week ago, I had the genius idea I should write one about the threshold age of thirty-nine. Babies born in 1972 turn forty this year and most of the women in my life are dreading it, but I can’t wait. Bring it on! After the past two years I’ve had, I am so flipping ready for a new chapter, a new decade.

Ideas are energy (I love physics) and messages from the Universe (I’m quite spiritual, but not at all religious – just so you know). For some reason, this idea came to me and I’m claiming it!

The problem is, I turn 39 tomorrow and don’t in the least feel like a woman. I still wear pigtails.

My oath: I will be 100% honest as I chronicle my way through this year. For better or worse, we are in this together. For the first time in my life, I will keep my vow. ‘Til death do us part.

Whoa, I hope I don’t die this year. That would be weird.

From CHRYSALIS: A Dark and Delicious Diary of Emergence


I still don’t know where the idea to publish my diary came from. Maybe thatChrysalis cover thought bubble had been bouncing around from person to person for years, but no one claimed it. Wherever it originated, I’m grateful it landed in my brain at a time when I was ready and willing and desperate for change.

And change my life, it did. Beginning with that honesty oath.

Lying was a huge part of my life for a lot of years. Many more were spent denying the lies (to others and myself) and trying desperately to be something I wasn’t; feeling like an utter fraud the entire time. Well, I kept my oath and truths were revealed that I never thought would leave the vault.

The fear that people will judge us, or our story, is an illusion our ego creates to keep us separated, but we are all connected and it is through the sharing of our stories, in all their gore and glory, this bond is strengthened.

The most cathartic process for me was the actual journaling through the experiences, memories and insights by hand. Then the year spent transcribing and editing, invited whole different levels of healing.

But self-publishing, that is, being the driving force in getting my book out there is by far the most empowering thing I have ever done.

If you have the inkling to publish your memoir, it means someone has put the request out to the Universe for guidance and only your story can provide the help they need.

It means it is time to get ‘the story’ out of you, so you can let it go and move on.

Don’t wait until you are less busy or more motivated or the stars are perfectly aligned, just write it and then do whatever it takes to get it out in the world.

Balboa Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BalboaPress, by tweeting us @BalboaPress, or by emailing dghosh@ balboapress.com. We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. Balboa Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.

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