Unlocking a Story

“You should write a book, Keiko.”

I get this. A lot.

Thing is, I would very much like to write a book. I know several wonderful folks who have in fact, written books. Like Mel (who’s got a new book out this week!), Lori, Carolyn, and Pamela. Like Aprill, Krissi and Fran. Like Kristen, Stephanie and my other pal named Pamela.

It’s practically books out the wazoo in my circle of friends, colleagues and partners-in-crime.

I Should Write a Book

Here’s the thing… I started a (crappy) non-fiction book proposal two years ago in a terribly expensive “this is how you write a book proposal” course, basically a memoir meets self-help book about infertility. I was told on multiple occasions from Folks in the Know that publishers don’t like unfinished stories, that until I had some kind of “ending” – no matter what it was, that an open-ended proposal just wasn’t going to sell.

I don’t exactly like calling my son my “ending” but he’s here now. Only now, when I read through my (crappy) proposal, I think to myself: what makes my story any different than any other “infertility lady has a baby” story? What makes my story “sellable”?

I’ve flipped through a lot of the infertility books on my shelf, many of these titles crafted by women I know personally. Everyone’s got a hook that sets them apart.

What’s my hook? What’s the story that I’ve got to tell? I’ve got a lot of vignettes unique to my own personal infertility journey, but what’s the arc? The message? The big fat takeaway?

Really, I’m searching for keys and doors. There’s a story waiting to be unlocked – it’s just a matter of tracking down the right door and the key that matches the lock.

So what story is missing out there in the Great Big Land of Infertility Books?

(This is not a rhetorical question: I’m genuinely asking y’all!)

“You have to A-S-K to G-E-T.”

Time to follow some wisdom that’s been passed on to me. So I’m asking you:

If I wrote a book about infertility, what would you want it to be like? What would you want me to include? Exclude? Science-y self-help or motivational memoir? Cheeky asides and tips or scholarly observations?

I could use the inspiration and honestly, a little confidence-boosting to light a fire under my ass to get writing.

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Comments

  1. says

    Well, I’d obviously want zombies :-)

    Think about it this way: why does anyone write a blog when there are so many other blogs out there that fit whatever niche they’re in? They write their blog to add their voice to whole. So I would read this book (and the hook would be) because it was written by you. I think you have enough things interesting about you, that it would make me want to read a cohesive story. I would just be careful if you’re writing memoir not to mine from your blog. It is always clear to me when I read something that was mined from a blog inside a book, and while it always begs the question — why read the book if you’ve already read the post — it also usually takes you out of the book’s voice to hear the blog’s voice.

  2. says

    I’d love to read your book! The infertility books I’ve enjoyed the most are the motivational memoir types (Inconceiveable by Julia Indichova comes to mind). I like hearing how people handle the ups and downs and maintain their sanity. The ones I hate are the the ones that imply that if I do exactly what they did, then I’ll be successful, too. I think anything you write that shows your unique voice would be lovely.

  3. says

    What Mel said.

    Like many, I found your blog from the “What if” video. I became a follower because you wrote about your life. You wrote about doing more than surviving infertility; you wrote about thriving while searching for a way to resolve. That is a book I would love to read.