When I finally decided to write about my life, I didn’t really know where to start. I had plenty to say, lots of stories to tell, but figuring out where to start was daunting. In the end, I decided not to worry about it, and just to write. I made a list of topics – some were people, some were places, some were specific experiences or memories – and I just picked a topic from the list and wrote about it. Some things were easier to write about than others. Often, my first pass was absolutely horrible – full of facts and not much else; reading it was like listening to someone read the phone book. It gave me a framework, though. I was getting words down on paper (well, figuratively, at least).
The facts were important, though I knew the end product would need a big dose of emotion to bring my life back off the pages. I spent weeks working on revisions, much like peeling off the layers of an onion. I had to figure out how to connect with old emotions that I’d long since buried, and that was a chore. I also had a really long list of topics that I’d written about in no particular order, so I had to decide how to string together all those pieces. My story still has no title, and also has no ending. Yes, I agree. Those are fairly big things to be missing – but, I needed a break. So, I’ve put it down, sent it to an editor friend whose opinions I trust and respect, and am moving on to do some writing here.
They say to be a decent writer, you have to exercise your writing muscles. That’s what this site will be for me – my writing gym. I intend to write about my memoir and post excerpts of it here. I also intend to write about the events of the rest of my everyday life. Well, some of them, anyway. We’ll see how that goes.