Several years ago, while in the shower I had the compelling epiphany to write a memoir. A book based on my life’s story; the traumas, the journey, the healing. I would lay out a quilt, steep some tea and write myself whole again. Sounds beautiful, doesn’t it?
That epiphany took form slowly by becoming a few stories, then a blog, followed by a few timid submissions and a Facebook page. I’ve lovingly cared and developed my craft by doing things like learning what the heck it means to increase your social media presence and tackling Twitter.
Well, today I just want to scream. No beauty here! What the hell was I thinking when I started a monumental project like writing a book? Really, my life story? What do I know about writing and publishing? Actually, more than I think when I finally simmer down and let this pass.
Here’s my not so tidy list of things that have done to help move this project along…
- Realize that any movement is good. Taking a formless idea and transforming it into a tangible, readable book or story is a huge undertaking that needs to be done in small manageable steps. The more support you have for this, the better.
- Read. Especially authors whose stories resonate with your story and even more so, the authors whose framework and storylines appeal to you.
- Do something to identify yourself as a writer. I made a Facebook page, joined the National Association of Memoir Writers and She Writes. All of these actions add energy and identification to your role as a writer and author.
- If you don’t have any formal training in writing, that’s okay. Teach yourself. We live in the information age graced with the internet and libraries for information we need to hold in our hands. Use both extensively.
- Make the time to write. Find the time to write. Tell your family to make dinner. Leave your phone off. Write seemingly meaningless stuff or post on other people’s blog but keep the flow going. This is exactly what I’m doing at this particular moment because I can’t seem to write on my book so I’m thrusting my frustrations out on this blog post.
- Align yourself with virtual writing projects like NaNoWriMo and Novel Writing Winter. These keep you in touch with others who are waging The War of Art.
- Give yourself permission to scream. Its cathartic but make sure you don’t scare the children or the dogs.
These last weeks have really sucked. I don’t feel my creative flow and my muse has headed for the hills. I lost several days to a sick dog and ultimately a dog that passed away. Everyone should be given numerous sick days for when you lose a beloved animal friend.
My therapist lost her father so there’s no group this week. I gave her my condolesences and hid my neediness for wishing I could be with my pals tonight. A friend lost her father so there’s more casseroles to make and more stuff eating my time from my book. My husband had to leave town for work and I needed to stay behind with the sick dog.
Things happen. Schedules change. People and animals die. Support isn’t there like you had planned.
Big deal….go scream, get the chocolate then sit down and write.