Home » Diary of A Memoir Writer » Diary of a Memoir Writer: A Bit of Panic

Diary of a Memoir Writer: A Bit of Panic

Panic set in Friday night. I knew I needed to write a post for Saturday and Sunday reviewing the week but it hit me that I hadn’t been paying attention to what was going on this week. I had no idea, well I had a couple of things that I had learned, but I needed more than that. They seemed so lame.

Perhaps not paying attention is why I didn’t feel excited this week. Not once did I want to take out the wine bottle and celebrate. Sure my little girl and I were out two days due to the flu but still… usually I feel excited even after just a couple of days of writing.

So I felt afraid come Friday that I had nothing to write about this weekend. Then Saturday morning came and I felt panic in my chest. So I ran away and spent the day in the city.

On my return I’m faced with guilt. I have company here so I stress over how I’m going to find time to write a post, cook supper and visit. My writing will take last place.


I have missed so many days of writing. How will I make this up? Is it even realistic to set a goal for writing a memoir? Can I squeeze all my memories in a six-week writing period?

See what I am doing now? I’m starting to bash myself for any goal setting I have done. I tell myself  ‘I have no idea what I am doing.’  (After all shame and guilt go together well.  Like wine and dark chocolate.)

Language and Communication = Sisters

One of the biggest things I learned this week was why my sisters and I have an unspoken language. It is because we played together when we were young.

Sound so simple but I believe it is true. When I wrote the story about my running away and when I returned home I made up an adventure in the backyard and my two sisters slid right into my story. We shared an imagination. It’s like our own language. No one will be able to take that away from us.

This led me to realize that this could be the reason why I have a hard time communicating with other people. It is because I’m used to speaking this other language.

I really hope I can portray my relationship with my sisters well in my memoir. It is a significant part of my life.

I am the one in the blue top and a pony tail on my head:)

Reflecting Is A Bigger Deal Than I Thought

I realized this week how important reflecting is. Reflecting not just on what I’m writing, the whole process – the thoughts, emotions and behaviors that are happening behind the scenes. I have always stated that being aware and reflecting is important.  I have understated it.  It is bigger than I thought.  There is gold in reflecting and I hope to find it.

Learning about my emotions, thoughts, and behaviors is my real reward in all of this writing. Learning what they mean and say about me is the picture I want to see at the end.

In Closing

Goal setting, I will do my darndest with this project taking it to the end of December if necessary to complete its first draft. But once January 1st comes I want to begin a new project. Well this project isn’t really new. It has been brewing for a couple of months. Actually a decade. My sister and I have always wanted to write a cook book over the years but in the last two months it has grown into something.  It desires a birth.

It will have recipes but it will also be about growth, about being a vegetarian, about battling with procrastination and our damn minds telling us it would be better to watch an episode of Murder, She Wrote than do yoga. The book will be about our journeys to living better and healthier. So I want to focus on that in the new year.  Don’t misunderstand, I will still be editing this book and Sunlight and I begin working at a nursing home running memoir workshops for the residents on December 9th.  Yay!!!!

I gotta stay focused and keep my routine.  Write! Write! Write!  Reflect! Reflect! Reflect! Be aware. Be aware. Be aware. Don’t let doubt, shame and guilt creep into this project.  They are not good supportive friends.  Not at all!


15 thoughts on “Diary of a Memoir Writer: A Bit of Panic

    • As do yours for me. (Your red riding hood post still sits in me from last week.) That is what I love about this blogging world, all these wonderful people all around the world.
      Thank you!

  1. Hi Marlene,

    A cookbook brewing? Wonderful! And you’ll be teaching memoir writing at a nursing home? That is so awesome!! Stay strong.

    On my way to work now to make up for a day I missed this week :)

  2. Do you keep a writing log, Marlene? I just started keeping one this fall and find it spurs me on to try to squeeze in moments of writing just so I can put in an entry for the day ;).

      • What I do is keep it on the computer, although it could be a notebook. I just made a “table” in Word and have a column for the date, what I wrote about (usually 1-8 words), what time i started, what time I ended, and how many words I wrote. I am really to-do list driven, so if I keep the log, it spurs me on. If I didn’t write I have to write my excuse in the journal so it better look like a pretty good excuse (to me)!

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