Tag Archive | memoir

I Wanted To Write

Dorothy Parker’s Mink Coat

I wanted

  • to write a book that would tear your insides apart with laughter, not heartbreak.
  • to write tiny bites of my life with enough humor to leave my readers with howling belly aches over exaggerated blimps and bleeps.
  • to write the best selling memoir full of wit and wisdom, one that would live on the nightstand of every parent on this earth who might need a quick dose of humor following a particularly harrowing day.
  • to write with a keen sense of humor to keep my readers turning the pages (or swiping their Kindles) to the very last word.
  • to write the takeaways that would lead to joyful resolution for all who read my words.

Meanwhile I have

  • written the necessary 90,000 words of a pitiful and shitty first draft (ala Anne Lamott), just to get over it.
  • highlighted the questionabull, deleted the distractabull, rewritten the sustainabull, and added the conceivabull.
  • hit the muddy middle and squirreled away at least sixty hours of mindless FaceBook gaming in the last thirty days.

The time has come

  • to send away the critics and bring in the clowns.
  • to let go of the past.
  • to write that final chapter.

If nothing else comes of this

  • I can say I wrote a book
  • My inner self will be sufficiently mended.
  • I can be a better person.
  • I still have a sense of humor.

BUT maybe one day I’ll sit at the Algonquin table in Dorothy Parker’s mink coat signing copies of my phenomenal book.

Memoir – Where Is It Going?

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Where does your memoir begin? Where will it take you?

I begin with the Anne Lamott method – a sh*tty first draft. No one lays eyes on this piece of work. It will be tweaked and trimmed before I dare to read it to my memoir writing group. I am fortunate to have found this group of eight willing to listen and share each others stories with an openness and nonjudgmental sense of loyalty. We critique with compassion for each other, gently making suggestions – what to leave in, what to eliminate, what needs to be expanded.

There are times we hit a rough spot and we bring in the same piece of work week after week. Usually I take my piece home, make a few notes, and move on to the next chapter, keeping in mind that this is still not the final draft. It gives me the freedom to work through the cathartic phase of writing a painful memoir in a safe environment. This is where I learn what happened, where I gathered strength, and figure out where will I take the reader.

The original plan to hold off on writing this memoir until resolution is conceived was procrastination on my part. I didn’t want to write down the gritty details. I wanted to come out looking like the person who exists on FaceBook – the one always smiling, looking good, enjoying a wonderful life. The more I write the more I realize the truth – I am that person portrayed on FaceBook. I am in a good place. Perhaps resolution comes within the process, a slow mining of the gold within a story, growing from the experiences, and knowing there is much more good to come.

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