Diary of a Memoir Writer: Falling off Routine

My week fell apart.  I don’t know how long it will take me to ensure I DO NOT LET ANYTHING INTERRUPT MY MORNING time to write.

Last weekend I suffered with a sore back that left me unable to focus to do anything.  I couldn’t stand, sit, lay down, walk, nothing.  So I did not do much writing on the weekend.  Only about a half hour each day.  Things didn’t change much during the week.  My back got better but not my writing.

My little girl was having issues wanting to go to school so I had to stress myself out about it for three days and two nights.  I only wrote for a half hour each of those days as well.  Each day was about 800 to !000 words per day.  Not my goal.  I feel bad because I put some of my enthusiasm at the back burner.  I wasn’t aware what I wrote from day to day.  I carried nothing.  I hope to be done this draft by the middle to end of December.  It will be interesting for me to see what I wrote during this past week.  I won’t re-read any of it until then.  Except for the blurbs I throw in posts.

Well my week sort of went in a different direction from last week.  Which is kind of a bummer cause last week I was on a high with my writing and remembering.  I was so complete.  Joyful.  Delight filled me every day.  This week I just ushered chaos in the door without even thinking.  Well that guest just took over!

One strange thing I noticed is my desire to drink.  I woke up last Saturday smelling red wine in the air.  Now it was eight o’clock in the morning.  No one was drinking and especially since I fell asleep in my little girl’s room there was no wine in there.  So this was just a bit of my imagination.

When I was on my writing high I did open a bottle of wine and drank a glass while I prepared supper.  I did not have a glass everynight but most nights.  This alone is strange behaviour for me.  Is writing This Old House causing me to want to drink?  I could understand it if I felt upset and had tough memories to recall but I was deleriously happy.  Why should I choose the bottle?

I only drink about a half-dozen times a year.  Never to get drunk.  A couple of glasses at my husband’s work function or maybe my husband and I will think some wine at supper would be nice and we will have a glass or two.  Not a big drinker.  Well now I smell wine all the time.  Even last night.  I am watching Eat, Pray, Love and all of a sudden I turn and look at my husband saying excitedly, “I smell red wine.  Do you want some?”  We didn’t have any but this behaviour of mine is most puzzling.  Is this memoir writing blog going to turn into a How Marlene Became An Alcoholic?

K, in summary I only wrote for a half hour each day this week.  Pulling in roughly 800 to 1000 words per day.  Not ideal but I am glad I still wrote.  I could have abandoned it all together which is typical of me when I don’t meet my expectations.  I still have some flow going.  And the five glasses of wine I had last night during supper left me still drunk (Metaphorically, I wasn’t actually drunk last night) with excitement this morning.

top photo courtesy of Sunstone Creations

bottom photo is mine


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.