Tag Archives: writing a memoir

I’ve surfaced

26 Sep

Considering my last post was entitled “Dig Deep”, and I haven’t updated in over a week, you must have assumed I was on quite the excavation into my soul. I was, for part of the week, writing the first twelve pages of my memoir as an assignment for my new writing class, which I love by the way. The assignment proved to be much harder than I thought it would be. Stupidly, I assumed that because I have been living this project so vividly for the last year, that it would be easy to just jump in and start writing a book. Aren’t I fancy? But instead, I found myself staring at a blank computer screen and sending Brian texts like…“this writing a book thing is no joke”.

When the judgmental blank computer screen would become too much for me, I would retreat to the couch to read “Tiny Beautiful Things” and escape from the question looming over my head…how do I want to start my book to? It’s a BIG question that I didn’t have an answer for. As my writing teacher, Richard, put it so eloquently- “If the first fifteen pages don’t grab the reader, they aren’t going to read to twenty.” No pressure, Richard. No pressure.

You will be happy to know that I soldiered through it and finally put words on a page. I’ve started my book! So what that I am only ten rough pages in- IM IN! This first assignment made me realize that this is going to be a very long and laborious process of love. Like birthing a baby! That’s probably unfair of me to say since I have never birthed a baby but I’m going with it. It has definitely awakened something in me. I’m finding it hard to go to bed at night because I have so many ideas racing through my head. I’m feeling very alive by the process.

You know what didn’t prove to be a hard but fun process last week?? The stomach flu. It proved to be an awful, awful, awful experience. It knocked me on my ass for three days. It was hard for me to even move from the bed to the couch. At one point I was so exhausted by it all that I just crumpled on the bedroom floor in my ratty t-shirt, sweat pants, disheveled hair and started sobbing to Brian, “pleeeeease make it stop”. It was quite a display. Have you ever been so sick that even blinking hurts? That was my reality for the latter part of the week.

On another note, we are off to Asheville, North Carolina tomorrow. I am a fan of getting out-of-town and I hear Asheville is gorgeous, so I am excited. I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

Dig deep

17 Sep

My desire to write a book has been tugging at me a lot recently. I can’t think of anything more gratifying than accomplishing this goal. It’s been something I have wanted to do since I was 20. It’s always been one of those “one day I will” goals. Like “one day I will” fly to the moon. Six months into writing this blog, I wrote a book proposal for 365 til 30. I was pretty proud of this 50 page document at the time. I thought I did a pretty good job considering I had never written a book proposal before. I thought it was where it needed to be. But now when I look at it I realize that I only scratched the surface. Actually, I’ve only dragged a tiny sewing needle across the surface of it. There is still so much that needs to be explored. This new-found realization both excites me and terrifies me. I think the biggest question that needs answering isn’t…why was my life was such a mess when I turned 29?

Knowing that I needed some inspiration and guidance, I reached out to a writer friend whom I admire and respect greatly. She’s so damn smart and honest that I just knew she’d help me unlock something. We spent a few hours talking about my book and I left feeling inspired. Her notes to me were simple- Dig deep when writing my book, be willing to go to the places that scare me and get in a writing class so I can be surrounded by other writers.

I immediately went home and scoured the internet in search of a writing class that suited my needs. I finally stumbled upon a class called “Memorable Memoir” and thought it sounded perfect, so I signed up and my first class is tonight. I think this most definitely constitutes a new “artist date” with myself, don’t you think?

I’m excited to see what will come from this experience.

Lastly, I want to share Cheryl Strayed’s advice to writers because I just love it. I plan on reading it every single morning until I have a finished book in my hands.

1. Write a lot.
2. Don’t be in a hurry to publish.
3. Find the work that moves you the most deeply and read it over and over again. I’ve had many great teachers, but the most valuable lessons I learned were from writers on the page.
4. Be brave. Write what’s true for you. Write what you think. What about what confuses you and compels you. Write about the crazy, hard, and beautiful. Write what scares you. Write what makes you laugh and write what makes you weep. Writing is risk and revelation. There’s no need to show up at the party if you’re only going to stand around with your hands in your pockets and stare at the drapes.