Embrace your Review

I’m the luckiest writer in Australia to have won a place in the Society of Editors mentoring scheme.
Last week, the Society of Editors delivered one heck of a report for ME AND HER: a Memoir of Madness …

“ME AND HER is a detailed account of living with bipolar disorder, from the perspective of the narrator. It contains strong descriptions, which allow readers to be part of the experience; for instance, ‘Insanity looked bad and smelled even worse’ and ‘choreographing the dance between past mistakes and present forgiveness.

After that very positive Review, two senior editors analysed my memoir offering advice on how to enhance the structure of my story. (One of the editors won an award for her memoir.)

They explained the HER side was very strong but the reader needed to understand more about the ME before and the ME afterwards. So the reader would know I was now safe and truly recovered.

How did I react?
Cry and scream about how they were wrong?
Send an abusive email to them?

No, I accepted what they had to say and after a few reads I embraced their in-depth report.
With a pen in my hand, I scribbled down fresh insights and ideas.

All writers must face an Editors Report sometime in their writing career.
What’s the best way to reap the benefits of a mentor?

  • Read the report slowly and accept what they have to say.
  • Study the report several times, embracing the changes.
  • Wait a few days and email questions to the editor.
  • Scribble down notes, planning how you’re going to make those changes
  • Meet face-to-face with the editor or arrange a phone conference
  • Tell yourself you can enhance your writing … You can.
  • Rewrite your manuscript in an organised but passionate way.

Memoirs are challenging to write, especially if you’re writing about a mental illness you’ve recently recovered from.
My aim now is to add more insight and perspective into my story.

After receiving the blueprint over a week ago, I’m well underway with the Rewrite.
With my eyes fixed on the goal, I’m focused and driven.
I’m more determined then ever to see ME AND HER: a Memoir of Madness published.
I’ve come this far. Nothing’s stopping me now.

Please be patient and support me … I’m sending out the NEW VERSION to a Publisher very soon.

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12 comments to Embrace your Review

  • Jo

    Yes Karen, whatever we write and however we feel about what we’ve written, when we hand the ms over to the experts in editing and publishing, it’s important to take on board every word they say, every criticism, suggestion and change they suggest, because they know what they’re talking about re ‘publishable material’. We only know about what we have written. In the end it’s a team effort.Congratulations !

  • Thanks Jo, you sound like you’re speaking from experience. I now have embraced the suggestions they’ve made and I’m fully immersed into the Rewriting. Thank God for this mentorship. Its just what I needed … Karen :))

  • Lynn

    Well done on the mentorship. I’m sure all the good advice will lead to positive ground. You deserve to get this book published. You’ve worked so hard on it. I hope it isn’t far away now.

  • Just another step towards achieving publication. Congrats, Karen 🙂

  • Angela Slatter

    Glad the program was such a positive experience for you, Karen.

  • Thanks Lynn, You’ve got no idea how many hours I’ve spent on this book! I only wished I had this report a year ago! Anyway …Onwards and upwards … Karen :))

  • It was Angela, Thanks so much for recommending this program to me. I met the two editors at the State Library last Friday. They were extremely knowledgeable about memoirs and what Readers and Publishers expect. I have a solid blueprint for the rewrite now … Karen :))

  • Thanks Carol, another step Yes. But this one is HUGE and I hope will take me over the finishing line.

  • Joanna Gaudry

    Wonderful that you got constructive feedback, Karen. So much work involved! You’re incredibly disciplined. Joanna :))

  • Thanks Joanna, writing a Publishable memoir is the THE hardest genre to write bar none. Writing Josh and the It was a breeze in comparison. Not sure if its discipline that is driving me. Or pig-headed determination … Karen :))

  • Well done karen. You certainly are determined, thats for sure. I’d take onboard the changes you think make sense, remembering that everyone has a different opinion, and you can chase your tail trying to make everyone happy.

    I’m sure you’re on top of it.

    Good luck!!

  • Thanks Anthony, Strangely I agree with all the suggestions The Society of Editors made and wish I’d thought of them myself. I’ve had a very positive response from the writing world so I know I’m on the right track. There’s only one suggestion I’m hesitant on, that’s changing the Book Title, ME AND HER:a Memoir of Madness. I’ll leave that decision to the Publishers :))

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