Why I Wrote the Memoir First: Validation Before Instruction

a flow chart that reads "social validation" first. the three branches read "community around project x," contribution of social network y" and enrichment gained for the realization of project z." the big takeaway is that z is a combination of x and y
Image by Luc Galoppin / CC BY

A few days ago, I launched my first book, Poly Land: My Brutally Honest Adventures in Polyamory, a memoir that shares (maybe overshares) what I went through when I was newly polyamorous. Those first few years when I didn’t know what I was doing and neither did anyone around me.

I’ve been floored by how well it’s been received.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve recently finished the first draft of a second book — which is a focused how-to book. It will be the first in a series of specialized how-to guides relating to specific topics in polyamory.  It’s very exciting and fulfilling work, crafting these. And polishing them.  (Update: It’s out!)

Readers have been very open about their excitement for the how-to guides.

And I’ve been asked a few times now why I put the memoir out first.

It’s simple, really: I wanted to lead with validation.

Validation first, instruction second.

It’s the same principle I mentioned in an earlier post I wrote  about the commitment I made to post new content to this site every day:

It’s not always easy…Some days, it’s brutal finding the time to write. Other days, confidence is in short supply. Martin is a vicious critic of my work and an endless source of writer’s block.

But every time I think “Oh, c’mon, do you have to post every day? Live a little,” I remember when I first discovered polyamory in 2009. And was desperately searching for information.

I read everything I could get my hands on. Special shout out to the Polyamorous Misanthrope for basically saving my newbie poly emotional life (this post in particular, oh my God).

I binge read with a fury. Months and years of archives of every blog I could find.

So when I set out to write more widely about polyamory, I asked myself how often I could reliably post new content. Because frequency seemed key. To let polyamorous people know that they weren’t alone. Give them something to look forward to on those days that drag because they’re adjusting to the unique stresses of poly life.

And the interval I set? Daily.

I could post daily.

And so far I’ve been able to stick to strict daily posting since September 2016.

Validation Before Instruction

So my first priority was the same with the books as it was with the blog: To make sure people knew they weren’t alone. And that meant sharing my own story — the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful.

Especially since in 2017, there are some good general polyamory primers. Basic instruction is less in demand. So my plan was to share my own story and then move into some intermediate and specialized material for the how to.

Validation before instruction.

Because I want you to understand that you’re okay before we work on doing even better.

*

My new book is out!

A Geek’s Guide to Unicorn Ranching: Advice for Couples Seeking Another Partner 

Liked it? Take a second to support Poly.Land on Patreon!

Leave a Reply

You may also like