More than 5 things to do if you’re gonna be a writer….

Thank youSeveral 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…

  1.  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.
  2. Read.  Especially authors whose stories resonate with your story and even more so, the authors whose framework and storylines appeal to you.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.


About Rescuing Little L

Documenting the pieces of my journey...recovery from childhood sexual abuse and cruel ignorance...the effects of those incidious acts through adulthood... until the grace of recovery transcended the trauma and shame of my past, making it possible to return to Rescue Little L.... View all posts by Rescuing Little L

36 responses to “More than 5 things to do if you’re gonna be a writer….

  • Julie Catherine

    Aww, I can so identify with at least some of this – and I think you’ve progressed wonderfully this past year that I’ve been following you. Stay strong, Little L! You have friends who love you and who are listening to what you have to say! Sending you gentle hugs and lots of love! ~ Julie xoxox

  • Heather

    Sooo sorry to hear about your pup, nothing can replace them. Just a reminder to take a little “trip” with Black Ice (you know what I mean!) 🙂

  • Merry ME

    When the words flow, I can picture my book, my picture on the cover, the great reviews/. When I can’t find the words to write a grocery list, I ask myself who I was kidding. I seriously don’t know if I have a book in me, but you are right. Forward movement is the only thing that’s going to get me anywhere.

    Sorry to hear about you beloved pet. It is hard, isn’t it.

    • Rescuing Little L

      That’s great Merry….I could probably handle a grocery list right now, that’s about it….but we must be kind to ourselves as we are to others, right? I’m always available to chat about books and writing….I bet there is a book in there that we would love to see….Thanks for the kind words about my doggie ❤

  • tenderspirit47

    AWW Laurel: WOW .. you are so spectacular and your writing is so encouraging and inspirational Dear One. I sure appreciate your writing. Even when you feel stuck and off pace. I need to connect more with you so that I can begin writing again. Writing something other then research papers and researches for school. I miss my off the wall writing when I started several year ago. Lets connect some time. I need a boost as you sound as though you could sue someone that can keep you inspired and moving and continue writing. You have shared so incredible wiring this last year and I want to inspire you to keep going.

    Be Blessed as you are inspiring you followers and readers.

  • Randy Creath

    Or as David Crosby said, “keep on keepin’ on…” I’m glad you’re still writing – blog or book!!

  • theflamingoflies

    Oh darling I can so relate… Hang in there dear one.

  • sarahpotterwrites

    I’m so sorry about your dog dying. I just about managed 3 months without a canine companion after my 17-year-old Labrador went, but, like you, my writing inspiration dried up. The week my new puppy arrived, was the week I started writing a new novel. She learnt from the beginning not to chew wires (i.e. those attached to my laptop).

    A great post, which I’ll reblog 🙂

  • sarahpotterwrites

    Reblogged this on sarahpotterwrites and commented:
    Some sage words from Rescuing Little L, who is a valued participant in Novel Writing Winter (NWW) 2013.

  • cecilia

    fantastic list.. I am always grateful to be given permission to write even though i am not educated as a writer per se. Often i feel such a fraud. And the dark cold winter which you would think would make it easier to write actually doesn’t, it just makes me dark and cold! But back to work we go. As you say any forward movement is good.. thank you for these words, I really do need to hear/read things like this sometimes.. c

    • Rescuing Little L

      Hi Cecilia….So glad you commented and I found your blog! I really understand that feeling of being a fraud but can see what I’ve read so far, you are anything but. I’m carving out my world in the midwest too and wondering where you are? Today its snowing and I’m sending some good thoughts out on these snowflakes to you….I so appreciate you stopping by.

  • WordsFallFromMyEyes

    Excellent, excellent!

    I agree with you – “What the hell am I doing undertaking such a mammoth task…” I thought that again & again before I started this blog. I began my novel a billion times. But trashed it. Too big, too hard, not skilled enough, going nowhere.

    But THEN when I began to do drafts via blog TO FORCE ME to face getting bits done, I DO realise how important it is that “any movement is good”. This all, is just great advice.

    • Rescuing Little L

      Hey sweetie…when I read your reply, I feel so moved…I realize the sadness in a story not told and want you so badly to keep on going. This must be what we feel for each other, the desire to get the story out. I continue to realize how patient we must be with ourselves as our lives certainly didn’t follow any linear movement that would easily support a novel. We have to discover the pieces, then weave them gently together….and remember, we are out here wanting to hear what you have to say….Thanks for stopping by, it is always a welcome treat.

  • cecilia

    Just dropping in to ask how your writing is going? Your winter writing project? c

    • Rescuing Little L

      Hey kiddo…doing a bit better today. Sat down last night while I had the whole precious house to myself and wrote for a couple of hours. How about you? Got a small break in the weather here, just read about frigid sunshine….

      • cecilia

        I am starting a writing course tomorrow . I have a loosely written novel it is pretty one dimensional so far.. it is ready to be rewritten really and edited, but I need to learn more stuff first.. c

      • Rescuing Little L

        that is very cool….where are you taking the class? online or classroom? i’m so curious as to how we all learn this writing craft….looking forward to hearing more about your book!

      • cecilia

        it is online, i am miles from anywhere, from the writers digest.. the first writers class I have even done.. so i am very much hoping it is useful!

      • Rescuing Little L

        Nice! I’d love to hear about your experience in this class…good for you! Anything to keep our writing going is worth it….I love how you’ve taken the experience of living miles from anywhere and doing your blog with it…I feel like I’m down on the farm everytime I look at it! Keep in touch 🙂

  • TheOthers1

    Screaming. Check.

    I loved this post. Not for the things that died because that’s sad, but because I can identify. Everything seems awesome when you start out then it all takes a nose dive. Self-publish, bad reviews, struggling to write, questioning your sanity, trying to be valiant and keep going…

    It’s okay to keep going. Thanks for the post.

    • Rescuing Little L

      You are so welcome! We all seem to be relating to the screaming part. Could it be that we writers are all sensitive and emotinal creatures that need a release sometimes? Probably yes! Nice to meet you, drop by anytime!

  • erin graves

    I randomly stumbled across this blog and so happy I did! This post is so what I needed after coming through a horrible bout of writer’s block (confession: I fully engaged in #7 this past Monday). Good luck with your writing and look forward to reading more!

    • Rescuing Little L

      I’m over here grinning…don’t we all feel like screaming sometimes, maybe me more than most….who knows! But what I love is to share that frustration with others who are also hitting the wall so we can process it and get back to work. I’ve subscribed to you also and looking forward to having you in my virtual world! EEEKK….stop by and scream anytime….

  • M.L.Hall

    I’ve been thinking to do the same thing as far as memoirs. Not so much publishing, but keeping a journal that I can pass down to my children. Mostly I write sci-fi. Anyhow, I think your post is spot on. And the biggest thing for writing is just doing it! Embrace # 5 with persistance!

    • Rescuing Little L

      M.L….that is a wonderful idea…I could only imagine how much your children would enjoy knowing your day to day thoughts and stories, not to mention how many of those memories get swept away with the busyness of life…I keep a separate and private blog just for my thoughts to my daughter….I’m on my way to check out your stuff, drop by anytime!

  • cup112278

    I love reading your posts. So, I have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Congratulations and I look forward to reading more of your posts.

  • recoveringfromthestorm

    i am writing a book but it’s more of a spiritual healing path that i’m writing about and not actual memories and i’m so glad i came here and read your suggestions 🙂 i am so sorry you lost your dog, its totally heartbreaking isn’t it
    sending you lots of love

    • Rescuing Little L

      I love the process of writing and wasn’t quite prepared for the intensity of retrieving and combing through these events….I’m about ready to chuck it and write a cookbook or something….Keep me posted on your book, love to hear all about it….

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