Intro: Digging Deep

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Digging Deep: A Writer Uncovers His Marriages is a memoir about my journey to understand my role in the destruction of my three marriages.  I hope and believe that it will help others to deal with issues in their own relationships.

How I Came To Write My Memoir:
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.

digging-deepThe impetus for writing the memoir came from a suggestion by  a mentor.  After 40 plus years practicing law in California, I had moved to Boston .  Guided by my mentor’s 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 my mentor, she suggested I write a memoir about my three marriages.  “There’s gold there,” she said.  Encouraged by her, 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 my mentor read the draft, she said it didn’t work, that I could do better.  She advised me to throw it away and start over.  Ithe 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 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.

Read Chapter 1 of my new book for free on my website, http://www.BoydLemon-Writer.com

2 Comments
  1. Gabriel Constans says

    Nice description of your process Boyd. I thought of writing a similar book once (this is my 3rd marriage), but started writing it with a focus on divorce and its effects (short term and long term) for all involved. Never finished that or went back to it, but it was helpful to look at my self and thoughts I had about my self and others.

    Natalie Goldberg is a wonderful writing teacher/mentor and beautiful person all the way around. Glad you got connected with her. Congratulations on your book.

  2. Boyd Lemon says

    Thank you so much for your comment Gabriel. Relationships are very difficult these days. I salute those who have successful ones.

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