Where do I start?

Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.


Hi all! I've been thinking lately that maybe I should tell my story, but there's that part of me that wonders "Will anyone want to read it?" and "How the heck do I get started?" Any thoughts would be appreciated. I've never taken on this sort of a task.
My story in a nutshell:
At 29, a month after getting married, I found a lump in my breast. Turns out it was cancer, and pretty advanced. I had no family history,and at my age the docs were shocked! After much drama with the docs, including one telling me, "You need a mastectomy, by next week!" I took control (as much as one can) of the situation. I got a 2nd opinion and was told I didn't need that extreme surgical treatment. Later I found out that tons of women have mastectomies when they don't really need them, often because they don't get a second opinion.

I had chemo to shrink the tumor, surgery to remove it and then radiation therapy. I lost my hair but never wore a wig and wore hats only when it was cold. I felt like my bald head was my "red badge of courage". A woman in the grocery store stopped me one day and thanked me for being bold and bald. She'd recently battled ovarian cancer. I, of course, had all sorts of complications, horrible reactions to chemo and found out I had twice fractured my spine, which explained all the pain I as in. After finishing my treatments, I found I was addicted to the narcotic pain meds I'd been taking for my back pain. After several tries (I feel for all addicts now) I detoxed.

Before all this happened, I'd quit my high-stress job because I wanted a life change. Obviously this is not what I had in mind! I'm now cancer-free, and looking forward to back surgery so I can get back on my feet and start living life the way I want to.

I don't know if what has/is going on with me is just too specific to be of any use to anyone. I learned some things I think could help people who are facing cancer treatment, but I know there are a lot of other books out there. Also, I know it's hard for young women to take self-exams seriously because they've been told it's an older woman's disease. It's not true, but again, I don't know if trying to spread the word will just feel like spitting in the wind.

I'm thinking I'll start writing, and just plan on it being for me, and if at some point I want to do something with it, I can. But how do you know?

Thanks for taking the time to read this monster post!

aka eraser

Congratulations on fighting the good fight and I hope your progress towards full health continues full speed ahead.

Stories like yours have been told but that doesn't mean yours shouldn't be or that it can't offer something unique.

My suggestion would be to write the book for yourself first but as you go along in your tale, to be cognizant of the unique aspects that can be broken down into stand-alone essays or articles. I'd try to market those. You just might find that by the time you reach "the end" you've sold a piece or three here and there and helped some people. You may well have established enough of a "name" to make the book more appealing to a publisher.

By all means write and submit and stay healthy. Good luck.


I didn't even think of that!

Thanks for the suggestion about stand-alones! I didn't even consider that! I think it seems more do-able that way as well. You know like the saying... How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

Thanks again!:thumbs

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