Sharing things about my personal life in ‘Mastering the Wolf’ was not an easy decision to do and has at times been uncomfortable. My parents were, for the most part, very private individuals and I dread to think what my late Mum would have made of social media. I suppose those values were instilled in me and my siblings growing up, and have resulted in some blowback, post publication from a couple of family members. I have been accused by my younger brother of being a deluded, attention seeking fool. He is of course entitled to his opinion, but I shall keep my thoughts about his own motivations to post a review on Amazon to myself.
My father also took none to kindly to my writing, in a very, almost unheard of, telephone call, he berated me for getting a couple of things wrong about him and his family, even telling me, “I could sue you”.
According to online sources, ‘A memoir is a narrative, written from the perspective of the author, about an important part of their life’. When trying to recollect things from decades ago, or from your childhood they will be influenced by a host of things such as bias, blocking, misattribution and suggestibility. Is it 100% accurate? Maybe not, but it is authentic, and I cannot do better than that.
Where am I going with all of this?
When you make a decision to step out of the shadows and share something personal, be prepared for a few rocks to be thrown at you. In my experience, and six months in, all of the negativity has been outweighed by uplifting feedback. My wife and children have all read the book and loved it. In time all of my grandchildren will read it and have an insight into my life. If you have followed this blog or know me, then you will remember that the original intention for the book was to leave a manuscript for my children and grandchildren. I wanted them to give them something more then memories and photographs to remember me by. I have achieved that.
As well as that, friends and people I don’t even know, have left me messages of support and reviews, with words including honesty, personal and raw, being a recurring theme. I am also aware the book has helped people too.
My original intention was to publish ‘Mastering the Wolf’ in a pseudonym. I am so glad I didn’t, it would not have been a particularly courageous thing to do. If you are thinking of staying in the shadows, because someone may say something negative or disagree with you, please don’t, you’re as entitled as the next person to have your voice heard. Go for it…