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.

Goals

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!

Memoir Writing: Discover Your Life: How is it going?

I am checking in.  How is it going?  Are you writing?  Boy, I must admit this September has been a challenge for me.  There is so much going on at home I am just swimming.  This post was supposed to happen yesterday and there are not many hours left in today!  How do we keep a schedule?  How do we maintain goals?

It is so easy to pick up your note-book and pen and write today and then leave it for a day, week, month, year or even decade!  Too easy.  We leave it, stumble across it, make an intention to pick it up again and then get busy and never do.  Next thing you know it has been on the to-do list the longest and you wonder if you are ever going to finish it!  Are you?

The other day I read a blog post from a fellow writer.  In it she references a blog post she read that inspired her.  I would like to pass it on to you here and see if helps you find a routine, or to reinstate your desire to write a reflection of your self.  Cause I think recording our views, thoughts, perspectives, events and stories of our worlds is very important and for each one of us it will be for different reasons.  More on that later.

Here is the link and please follow her links.  They are very insightful!

Have a happy week!

Shenpa

My husband and I are discussing homeschooling. I try never to call it unschooling cause that really stresses him out. He is a very traditional man and the whole concept of unschooling let a lone the word goes against his very being.  Today’s conversation is about him wanting me to ensure Emily make goals. Not only does he feel it is a great lesson for people to learn it also will help me keep track of what she is doing.

I agree with the idea of goals but I also feel more credit needs to be given to Emily. She is very ambitious with her art and has many goals for herself. But it isn’t laid out in a grade sheet or a way for my husband logical mind to measure. As usual I find myself getting anxious and pulled into some argument with him. I am getting angry at him because he is so ridged. When he says the word ‘goals’ I feel like cement is being poured on me and I am weighed down. So I take a few deep breaths and turn inwards to investigate what triggered this.

How do you deal with being hooked?

I recall reading something from Pema Chodron regarding being hooked. She refers to it as shenpa in Buddhist philosophy. She says that shenpa can show up in the force behind the words. I realize that is what is happening here. Craig is pulling me into an argument whether he is doing it intentionally or not.  Craig says ‘goals’ with a cold and ridged force. I say ‘goals’ like something light and airy, a personal ambition to hold one accountable. More of a force like the wind.  It is an energy and it comes from within.

With this realization, all in just taking a moment to reflect, breath and look inwards, I was able to continue talking to him about the subject. Recognizing that we had different shenpa behind our words even though we had a similar definition. It was our intention that differed. I can deal with that. The end result will be productivity despite his wanting a heavy hand on the situation.