Home » Diary of A Memoir Writer » Diary of a Memoir Writer: Keeping A Routine

Diary of a Memoir Writer: Keeping A Routine

I have decided to experiment at keeping an online journal regarding my memoir writing process. It might be a weekly post. I will play around with it. Here it goes.

Writing for an hour each day, first thing in the morning, has worked for the most part this week. In this time frame I have been able to write about 1500 words, a little more, a little less. Depending on when I go to bed, I wake up at 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning. I have been doing quite well at remembering to bring my notebook, pen and reading-light to bed but I have forgotten and on those days I lay in bed procrastinating about getting up. There were a couple of days where I missed my goal.

One day I struggled to write. I felt compelled to journal and record some dreams first. Plus I slept in, waking up at 6 o’clock. I only had a half hour to purge memories onto the page. It was my intention to do another half hour of writing at bed time but it never happened.

Another night I put my three year old to sleep, falling asleep with her. Then I woke up at midnight and could not fall back asleep until 2pm. I couldn’t fall back asleep cause I was feeling guilty for not writing yet too tired to get out of bed.
I didn’t wake up until 7:30 in the morning which is when I start my day with my family. Too late to write. This day I wrote nothing but some blog posts.

There is part of me resisting trying to remember. There is part of me not wanting to remember. I ask myself why cause I do not have any disturbing memories to recollect. No abuse, no serious trauma. My house wasn’t burned down as a child or my parents didn’t die when I was young. No, nothing severe.

I guess trauma is in the eye of the beholder. Some things in my past must irritate me and want to be left alone but the only way to get rid of them forever is for me to pick them up, examine them, and see them for what they really are. Don’t let them hide in the shadows and presume I know what they are. Or worse yet, believe I KNOW what they are.

I feel a little lost as well, like I don’t remember anything throughout the day. I expected starting this journey that memories would start to flood my thoughts during the day. Instead I feel I am holding them back. Like there is a door I close when my hour of writing is done.

It is time for me to whip out my resources, get some writing prompts to stimulate my memories. My favourite ones are Legacy by Linda Spence and Old Friend from Far Away by Natalie Goldberg. I wonder why I am hiding my memories?

My first week was about establishing a routine as well as being aware about my mind holding myself back. Routine is the key. My first day I got out of me my worst memory and that was only because I wrote so early in the morning, when my brain was still asleep. I must keep up my routine of getting up early. I must. I must. I must.

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One thought on “Diary of a Memoir Writer: Keeping A Routine

  1. You’re doing fabulous Marlene! When you said you were routinely writing I thought “wow–she’s really in her flow right now!” and then you said one hour a day and I thought “that’s not too bad, even I might be able to do that routinely. Routinely is the hard part isn’t it? And then–you said 1500 plus words, which really opened my eyes. That’s a lot of writing you’re getting done :) Keep it up.

    I want to share a quote with you regarding your writing of painful memories:

    “I think a story has to hurt when you write it.” Chuck Palaniuk

    You’re painful memories are what’s going to make your book good. Sorry to be so blunt, that was “my” quote and I hope you know I say that with love.

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