Am I Brave Enough?

This week has been an incredible ride for me … my announcements about my completed memoir Me and Her: a Memoir of Madness … launching my website and Karen’s BLOG.

The overwhelming support has been amazing. Thank you!
Next week the hunt for an Agent begins. Its all happening so fast.

Now let me pause for a moment to think …
I’ve written a deeply personal memoir which may have HUGE ramifications for me and my family if its published. Do I really want to reveal myself to the world?

Yesterday a friend of mine said to me, “Gee, you’re brave!” referring to my book.
It wasn’t until later that her words sunk in, challenging my plans.
It would be far easier to STOP right now!

No Me and Her
No Website
No Karen’s BLOG

Am I really brave enough to allow the world to observe my life, warts and all, and be under their scrutiny?

Why couldn’t my first book be pure fiction? A magical fantasy a crime mystery a kids sci-fi adventure?

Do I have the guts to go through with it now?
If this is the last Karen’s Blog post you read, then you’ll know the answer!

This Post has been updated and edited.

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14 comments to Am I Brave Enough?

  • Angela Sunde

    You know the old saying: ‘No guts, no glory’. I’d say you are on your way, congratulations:)Angela

  • Karly

    Well only you can decide that.
    I think you’ve already taken an incredible journey so far and you have achieved so much… sometimes all you need to do to feel satisfied, is to put pen to paper and get your story down, to give yourself a sense of accomplishment.
    The hardest part has probably been starting,which you’ve done. Then comes the tough bit of following through and getting Me and Her written… which you’ve done..What you do with it after that is pretty irrelevant, you’ve already survived the gruelling journey… no one can take away the words you’ve already written.
    I haven’t known you long, but I get the feeling you definitely have the guts to do whatever you set your mind upon doing.
    If it’s going to be a matter of always regretting NOT having done something, I guess it just depends which choice you will find easiest to live with.
    While I’m in Dr Phil mode…… If you talk to your family and explain to them why you feel you need to publish this book, then maybe they won’t be as negative as you think they will…..(I don’t know anything about your family so I could just be talking utter rubbish, but you could always publish it under a different name!!!!

  • Anthony

    Well Karen, i agree with Karly’s comments, but i can say that getting published or an agent may be harder than you think. You might get lucky, but i have heard of people trying for years. I read of one Qld woman the other day, about to be published for the first time with her eighth manuscript.. for me, im on my sixth…
    all im saying is the real work is only just beginning.. and if family are involved, you will have to weigh up all the consequences.. though a tell all memoir might just be the ticket… guess only time will tell huh..

  • I’ve had legal counsel this week and I’m feeling better about that side. I’ve just got to weigh up the pros and cons and make a few decisions. Thanx everyone for your concern.

  • I just wonder what other tell-all writers do.

  • Laura

    You say you are worried about the rammifications for you AND your family. How does your family feel about the book? Have they read it yet? If they are fine with it, (if it involves them their opinion SHOULD matter) then I know YOU are strong enough to face whatever challenges lay ahead. Just know I support you in whatever decision you make Auntie Karen. xoxo

  • Karen Tyrrell

    From your cuz, NZ … Of course you are brave enough. Anyone who has been through what you have and come out the other side is bound to succeed. As to the ramifications to your family, they are a strong sound bunch of people who will only support you in everything that you do.
    As usual your cousin from across the ditch will be backing you 100%. Go for it girl and do not hesitate. Remember “he who hesitates is lost” and that’s not you!!

  • Hi, Everything dynamic and very positive! 🙂

  • Sounds like a tough thing to think through. I think all writers worry about this is some small way. Obviously when writing a memoir the concern is much more present. Yet it sounds like there are lots of people supporting you. Open and honest memoirs have the wonderful side effect of finding people who really need to hear such stories – others who have experience similar things or whose eyes could benefit from being opened.

    Good luck with your decision.

  • Hi Karen,

    It’s funny I should come across this post. I have recently been thinking about memoir writing and these very issues you uncover in your post. I am presently reading Salvation Creek by Susan Duncan – and I guess it has me churning the cogs about whether I would be brave enough to let rip and let it all out in the name of Art and Integrity. Someone once told me that what other people think of me is really none of my business. And it’s true. Ramifications can only really be about people’s reaction – about their stuff. How someone might interpret your words and personalise it is really all about their story – not yours. You can’t take that on board and expect to be responsible for how you think someone might react, and in the meantime deny others your story.
    You ask “Am I really brave enough to allow the world to observe my life, warts and all, and be under their scrutiny?”
    Isn’t the beauty in all this the fact that you believe in you enough to stand your ground and announce your story to the world? I think that is liberating and personally powerful. And you also have to consider the positive ripple effect of your work – the goodness what will reach people through your words. I think bravery earns respect and that you will be respected by those who care. As for the others…let them deal with their stuff. You could be helping them grow into better people because of it. People’s reactions to anything are never about the external stimulus – more so about what lies beneath.

  • Lynn, Thank you for your beautiful words of support. Me and Her does have an important message and I do hope when the time comes, I have the courage to tell it … Karen

  • James

    Despite the slightly negative tone of Anthony’s comment (“may be harder than you think”, “you might get lucky”) he is right when he says that you have to weigh up the consequences to your family, although I suspect he’s talking about the fact that it’s a memoir, and therefore might cause relationship rifts. The family consequences I’m thinking of are the implications of your career on your immediate loved ones. Isolation, frustration and shitty income are often part of the life of published authors as well, and you’ll need a family which is one hundred percent supportive of your dream, with a complete awareness of their own investment in what you’re doing. I’m lucky – I’ve got one of those.

  • Thanx James, for your supportive words. My family are behind me 100% career-wise. The content of the book will be a shock to many people and if published will put a spotlight on our family. We all all coming to terms with that.

  • Ian Golledge

    Karen, not knowing your story, I don’t know exactly what you mean. However, if both you and your family are willing to go ahead, perhaps you’re not just brave, but also generous?

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