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Messing with Memoir

March 28, 2021

Messing with Memoir

March 28, 2021

Blog post 3

During this past year of mostly hibernation … um pandemic, I wondered if I could use some of my “social distancing” time to truly tackle this employment memoir. I decided to work on what is an unexciting part, the chapter by chapter description of what I hope to put in each chapter. I had set a goal of getting that basic proposal including chapter descriptions together by a certain deadline. How would I cram 43 years into say, 50,000 words—the current going number of words for nonfiction books of this type, according to my former boss.

And you know what? It was actually fun and stimulating to see that I could do this and wrote at least five chapter descriptions last night to keep me awake. Overall the project has kept me enthused and happy, a wonderful thing in these dark days of The Seclusion.

I think that knowing I have done this part before with modest success—writing chapter descriptions for book proposals—fuels my imagination and energy for this mundane part of nonfiction book writing.

In talking to a novelist recently, she expressed how amazing it would be to not have to have the book finished before submitting it to a publisher, as is more routine in novel writing.

So I will keep on my journey, one word, one sentence, and hopefully one catchy paragraph at a time.

In case you’re curious, here’s what I wrote for Chapter 4, see sample below. Keep in mind that outlines can always change.

Chapter 4 When Mennonites Almost Took on Charles Stanley

The Sunday morning program “The Mennonite Hour” went off the air in 1978, after seminary professor and pastor Art McPhee served as speaker for a couple years. We launched a 2 ½ minute radio program for weekday drive times, appealing to a younger and more diverse audience. The name we landed on was perfect and brilliant, until it wasn’t—and how that snafu came out. Also, Mennonites made good use of production dollars by repurposing and re-releasing numerous successful series of Choice radio spots. The spots were Dr. David Augsburger’s brainchild, delivered in his classic radio bass. His ongoing radio presence continued to help turn Augsburger’s books into bestsellers, some by non-Mennonite publishers like Moody Press.

Can you guess what happened?

Some secrets will wait for the book to launch and I hope to include lots of fun insider stuff.

Comment below!

  1. I’m hooked already! You caught me all up in the story…and then we ended. (sad face here) You’d better get to writing – because I’m already standing in line for your book!

  2. I’m thrilled that you’re hooked already, yay! You are such a great writer and fan–how do you do ‘dat? I’ll be sharing more as we go along. Thank ya!

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