Memoirs of a Guy… (Bad movie pun)

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Which guy? This guy. Seriously, as I started writing back in college I realized my favorite part of all my writing assignments, which becomes uncountable at some point, were the introduction paragraphs.  Why?  It was creating that opening hook that grabbed the reader’s, or my professor’s attention.  I would drag them into a deep questions, my thesis, and tease the road that would be traveled in the following paragraphs.  My major for several years was History (Yes I kept my books), before I switched to teaching secondary history.  The writing process is heavily academic with room for some creativity.  History is more than just facts, its perspective on those facts based on primary source material from the time.

I however, would get caught up in the telling part and not enough time on the primary source part.  I realized I like telling a good story and my professors critiques were always the same. “It sounds wonderful, but you need to do a better job of proving your point or connecting to the primary source material.”  You may be able to write yourself through high school on eloquently placed together grammatically correct sentences, but for academic writing it needed a little more. That little more was more fact and less fiction, which is a big deal when writing about historical events or any of the other sciences.  I had a friend who was an English major and I would tease her that what she was writing was easy, essentially made up with no accountability (Sorry English majors and teachers).  I know that you know that even in English you have to write argumentative papers which are based on research…blah blah blah. Writing historically you had to prove all of your assertions and back up your thesis in every class, all the time.  Does this make you a good teacher? No, but it does teach you the value of writing and what to expect when you have your students write which is the biggest way they can learn.

The irony of my writing style, that did not get me “A” papers, was that it made me fall in love with writing.  The major problem with any author or potential writer is that you actually need a story to tell.  A story that is unique, stands out but also fits within a genre, category and can have another book that you can tell the publisher, my book is like this one.  It sounds counter intuitive to the author who wants their book to be unique but in the world of marketing, people don’t invest money in something they are not positive they will get a return on.  So selling your writing as similar to something well known helps the investors grasp what they are putting their money in.

All this to say, that is where I am struggling with in this writing process.  Who is my audience several people have asked me?  What is my genre or category?  What is another book your book is similar to?

  • My audience: anyone with a beating heart (probably PG-13 though to be safe).
  • Category: life, death and everything in between.
  • Similar Books: ???? I guess I need to go find some successful books, other autobiographical narratives, that deal with death, mental illness, broken family relationships, Jesus, marriage, miscarriage, job loss, spiritual voids, healing, restoration, grief and most of all regret and how process it.

If you can help me find a good book that fits all that, let me know.  The story begins when my sister turned 14, I was in my late teens and my parents were still just parents and ends when she turns 24. I was in my late 20’s and my parents were grandparents. There is a lot that happens and a lot of very personal information divulged that I pray I don’t regret (pun intended) sharing them.

In Truth & Love,
Matthew Diaz


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