This article explains how the writing of her first memoir changed and enriched Barbara's life.
NOTE: The information in this article also applies to Barbara's second memoir, Marcella's Secret Dreams and Stories—A Mother's Legacy (published in November 2017).
THE DRUMMER DRIVES! is available in print and as an eBook.
"Reliving your life by writing and publishing a book about it can be personally rewarding in ways far more important than any money you might make from book sales."
Copyright © 2000-2017 by Barbara Brabec. All Rights Reserved.
A survey in the New York Times revealed that 81 percent of people feel that they have a book in them, and should write it. That translates to over 200 million people in the U.S. who want to write a book in their lifetime. I can't find any statistics to support this, but I think that a large percentage of these people would most like to write a book about their own life and the lessons they've learned from it.
And why not? As Oscar Wilde once said, "I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train."
I believe we all have a story inside us just begging to get out, so if you've ever thought about writing the story of your life, or a little memoir about a particular time, place, or person in your life, I urge you to pursue this dream. I've always believed that we are the most interesting person we shall ever know, and when we're not trying to figure out someone else, most of us spend our lives trying to understand ourselves. As Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) once observed, "If we were not all so interested in ourselves, life would be so uninteresting that none of us would be able to endure it."
Whether you write a memoir to leave a legacy for your family or to have a book you can sell for extra income, the rewards can be astonishing and worth far more than money, as I learned first hand during the writing of The Drummer Drives! By the time I'd finished this memoir, I was not only seeing myself differently, but seeing my late husband Harry through entirely new eyes as well. From the beginning, I knew that this book was going to be both Harry's biography and an autobiographical narrative of my life with him, as well as a documentation of a forty-year period of time in America's musical history that is now gone forever. But what I didn't know was how the writing would soon turn into a real and exciting life adventure in which I would begin to feel like a detective hot on the trail of clues about the man I’d married just eighteen days after we met and was sure I knew like the back of my hand after nearly 44 years of marriage. But there were countless things about Harry that I never knew until I began the book. Before I knew it, I was turning up surprising facts about his life that were a revelation to me, personal things he had never thought to tell me or simply preferred not to discuss, and things it had never occurred to me to ask about before.
There were many "AHA! moments" and flashes of insight that suddenly enabled me to understand things I had never seen clearly before because I was too close to them at the time. I've now concluded that the best psychologist in the world couldn't have done the good for me that I was able to do for myself by objectively studying my life and Harry's, not as his wife or widow, but as an author in search of the truth in both of our lives. In short, writing a memoir can be quite an exciting journey, as I've discussed in my article, "How to Write a Good Memoir."
Are You Ready for a New Life Adventure?
Many people with a book inside them are dreaming about seeing their words in print, but without some encouragement and help, few of them will realize that dream.
Whether you want to write a how-to book, a small business guide, a memoir, a novel, or just a little personal recollections book of memories for your immediate family, getting your words in print and distributed to whatever audience you have in mind has never been easier or less expensive than it is today. Read the articles in my Writing/Publishing department for perspective on what’s involved here, and remember that I offer an affordable telephone consulting service that can help you get started.