The Musings of an Elective Orphan

Sarah Brandis

Letting It All Hang Out: what I learned from self-publishing my memoirs

So I Googled "let it all hang out", and...this!

So I Googled “let it all hang out”, and…this!

Taking your f**ked up childhood and adolescence, putting it on paper, analysing it, and then making it available on Kindle to EVERYONE YOU KNOW!

Brave?  Sure.
Stupid?  Potentially.
Liberating?  Very!

I self-published my life (so far) story about nine months ago now, and thought I would share with you what I learned from the experience.

During the writing process I was mostly feeling positive and hopeful.  Positive that I was doing a really good thing in letting all my demons out, and hopeful that releasing them into the ether would be the last I saw of them.  The latter part of that was a little optimistic, but I have always been an optimist…
optimism-640x492After completing the final draft of my manuscript, optimism had given way to exhaustion, and I couldn’t wait to hit the ‘upload’ button.  But once you push that button, it is all out of yours hands.  Eek!

WW2Then came the fear.  I had released a full confession of all my past mistakes into the public domain.  I suddenly understood the reality of my present employer and colleagues knowing that I used to be a lap dancer.  What if they were all like “AW HELL NO!”?!?

Luckily, most of the people in my life now who had only known the ‘new’ me were totally fine about my cocaine-snorting, thong elastic-snapping, cosmetic surgery-having former self.  MOST people.  Except one or two of them who struggled to make eye contact for a while…
dont-make-eye-contactInterestingly, some of the very first people to read my book were ex-friends and ex-partners.  I seriously don’t know how people I am not in contact with get to know my news so fast.  In fact, are they reading this right now?  Well, hi there (*waves)!  Actually, while you are here, I know which one of you wrote that scathing review of my book.  And I would also like you to know that the drama you caused led to the biggest download day for my book ever.  I guess readers were intrigued as to what got an ‘anonymous‘ reviewer so angry.  So I thank you for the publicity.  This next picture is just for you!
jiFfMSo then some people (other than scorned exes) started to read my book, and finally my mission was complete.  I had bared my soul, icky bits and all, and nothing bad happened to me.  This was the biggest lesson.  That you can be just human, you don’t have to be perfect.  And in fact many people will respect your honesty.  Before I finished writing, an author friend on Scribophile (like Facebook for writers) told me that writing down your story makes it less painful.  I found this to be true.  You can’t change your past, but you can learn lessons from it, and that gives the painful bits a purpose.

imagesIn short, I regret nothing.

Get my story for FREE on Kindle until this Sunday 26th Jan 2014.



2 comments on “Letting It All Hang Out: what I learned from self-publishing my memoirs

  1. diahannreyes
    January 24, 2014

    Thanks for sharing what this experience is like- I think it can be scary from the prepublishing side to wonder if the sky will fall afterwards after a book that reveals much is shared. Clearly you’ve lived through to tell the tale and are good for it. Congrats, Sarah!

  2. sarahbgoode
    January 25, 2014

    Thank you 🙂 so far so good, and the sky is still where it should be!

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