Digging Deep: A Writer Uncovers His Marriages
By Boyd Lemon
Twelve years after my third divorce I began writing a memoir about my marriages. Digging Deep: A writer Uncovers His Marriages has just been released by the publisher, Outskirts Press.* My journey in writing the memoir was excruciatingly painful, but in the end healed me and brought me the peace that I had never achieved by simply “moving on” after each divorce. I believe the book can help others to deal with issues in their own relationships.
The impetus for writing the memoir came from a suggestion by the then 26 year old woman whom I call Kate in the memoir. After 40 plus years practicing law in California, I had moved to Boston to live platonically with Kate, a singer-songwriter attending a music college in Boston. Guided by her critiques and encouragement I had written a dozen short stories before I left California and continued writing short fiction and a few essays in Boston.
I wanted to write, and I knew I needed a change from life in California where my four children and grandchildren lived. Boston is a writing city, and I had always enjoyed it when I had visited. Kate could continue helping me with my writing. She is a talented writer and teacher, despite her youth.
I didn’t go to Boston intending to write a memoir. I was itching to write a book, and, of course, a novel came to mind. When I mentioned that to Kate, she suggested I write a memoir about my three marriages. “There’s gold there,” she said. Encouraged by Kate, I started drafting the memoir, not having any idea how it would make me feel. I finished the first draft six months later. It was painful reliving the incidents of conflict in my marriages and how it affected my four children, but I had no idea how painful what was to come would be.
When Kate read the draft, she said it didn’t work, that I could do better. She advised me to throw it away and start over. I needed to understand and write about my role in the destruction of my marriages, she said. I realized she was right. With her help, the help of another mentor, the great writing teacher and writer, Natalie Goldberg, and dogged persistence, I began digging and meditating and agonizing and thinking and digging some more, and what I came up with as I wrote shocks me even now. What I had buried was astounding. The process was excruciating, but in the end healed me. I learned that writing can do that.
I submitted it to three different editors, in addition to Kate, and a proofreader and revised it numerous times. Rather than wait the months, sometimes years, that it takes an unknown author to find an agent and then a publisher, I sent it to an author services, print-on-demand publisher, Outskirts Press. They were a pleasure to work with and put up with my numerous changes and edits before I finally approved the final proofs.
At the urging of several artists, I used a drawing that I had done of myself for the cover. That was a thrill to see in itself. I am hopeful that people will be attracted by it, buy the book and benefit by it. Relationships these days are terribly difficult, and I feel privileged to write a book that I think might help people understand and deal with their relationships.
*Digging Deep: A Writer Uncovers His Marriages is available on Boyd Lemon’s website, http://www.BoydLemon-Writer.com in print and Kindle formats, or, if you prefer, Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and by order from your local bookstore.
Thanks for visiting Boyd, best of luck with the book!!