I received a lot of great feedback and it is helping me very much to get some clarity. One friend who is not on this list but offered to take a look at the three chapters gave some advice that has been mentioned in the comments as well. This is that my transitions are too choppy, I write more as a journal rather than tell a story. She also did not think the title told enough of what the book is about to make her want to read it. I know that was mentioned a time or two in the comments.
She gave me five questions to ask myself before proceeding. I actually thought I had those questions covered but rethinking it I didn’t. So I percolated those questions over night and in the morning came up with a new sense of where I was going, who are the people I am writing to and what the purpose of the book is about.
This book is about my journey of self-discovery which I think is what most memoirs basically boil down to. One thing that has come out of my writing the last two chapters (four and five) was of my really poor coping skills. For most of my life I tended to cope with people and situations by being nice – even when being nice meant that I endangered myself. I did not know how or have the confidence in myself to say no or even to simply say what I was actually thinking and feeling.
One statement that got me into Guest House in the first place was a comment by one of the sisters that I had an anger problem. I did not think I did. I thought I was nice. The problem is one can only be nice so long before one explodes and is not so nice. When I was in drug rehab during the Navy one of the counselors told me that I had a volcano personality. I hold things in and hold things in and then explode. Apparently that did not get fixed in the first round of addiction counseling. It got better in the second round at Guest House but it is still something I know I still deal with.
So I want to change the book’s title. I won’t be surprised if a lot of you don’t like it – but this title punches me in the middle of my stomach with its truth. It gives me direction as to the level of honesty I want to get with myself. And most of all I think it might actually help other religious sisters and other people who suffer from this same stuff. In many ways its common to a lot of women. We are taught if we can’t say something nice don’t say it. And the not saying it is sometimes a very bad thing! We don’t deal with things when they should be dealt with.
So here is my new title – and yes, it may change again and again before the book actually gets printed but here it is for today.
Title: Sister Patricia has an Anger Problem
Subtitle: A Catholic Journey of Recovery
A mock up of a cover – this is just an image I found that was too small to actually work with but it gives an idea.
Let me know what you think. I am benefiting so much from everyone’s insights and comments. I totally need the “You Go, Girl!” a lot but I also need the “this would make it better” stuff as well.
For those of you who would like I am sharing Chapter Four here. 4 Chapter Four I think it goes with my new direction even though I didn’t have that thought when writing it.
My friend suggested I start the book over with my new slant and focus and so after a day of much turmoil I bit the bullet and am doing that. Just know if you read these chapters and the previous ones the actual book will probably be quite different. Also I will not be leaving these chapters online forever – at this point I just need all the help and feedback I can get!
Thank you so much for staying on this journey with me. Please continue to share your comments and feedback.