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Messing with Memoir: Getting Started Again

April 27, 2021

April 27, 2021

Getting Started Again

Well, last year around this time of year, I gave myself almost a month’s vacation, including almost a week of travel to Indiana to visit my mother. With a stop in Ohio at our daughter’s house, and back. I kept up with writing my newspaper column, but nothing on my memoir project.

I was pondered if I could dig back into the memoir project again. Would my energy and creativity subside and be lost to the passage of time?

So for the heck of it, I just jumped in. I speculated on a good next step. Where should I dig in again? And it seemed prudent to me to tackle Chapter 1 again. Currently that title is “It all Began in the Chicken House” (just to whet your appetite a bit). And then I planned to progress more chronologically through time. Earlier I had written snatches of this and that–stories, memories, descriptions, checking newsletters and reports for details. I knew in my heart I was going to get the sequence seriously messed up if I didn’t try to proceed from an actual real life timetable. I don’t want to get mixed up in what I put in what chapter, as some of the themes and topics are fluid and run throughout several of the proposed chapters.

So the next night I sat down at my laptop–amidst little breaks helping Stuart on his therapy (knee surgery last March 10 2020)–and just started writing. I also went to the basement to dig up some old articles from files to help me check facts, and by morning I was fully engaged: as excited as a pooch to dig in again.

At that point I wrote, “I think it is coming. Yay!”

And it still is. In fits and starts while also working on two other freelance projects. Did I say I’m retired?

I do get a nap almost every day, we go to a gym/pool and work out almost every morning (aiming for 4x a week), and then there’s dinner to get and gardening and stuff to do for church and Lions Club.

But it’s the BIG writing project at the back of my mind that keeps me creatively chugging along.

I’ve always been able to write in small chunks of time. I know some writers feel they must go to a retreat cabin to write, or a coffee shop, or have a solid week of time to devote to big writing, but those are hard to come by. Sometimes I have an hour here or there, but often it is literally 2 minutes between tasks.

Currently I can’t wait to get back into the memoir project. June-ish!


If you are a writer, what are your favorite places to write? Do you grab snatches of time? How do you keep plugging away?

I chose this visual because although this isn’t me, it is how I steal away to write snatches as time allows! Plus this is a lovely book that I had a blast working with the author to complete! Perhaps a sweet book for a young mother in your life–or a grandmother this Mother’s Day…

  1. Currently I’m using my “wait in the car” during appointments/scans/chemo/lab work visits to plug away on writing projects. I still haven’t accomplished as much over the past year as I would have liked to – but I’ve also learned to be easier on myself and most days I can shrug and say, “So what?”

  2. Yes! Waiting in the car is a great time to plug away on projects. Thanks for this reminder. I spent about a half hour yesterday doing just that and now I’m almost done with the one assignment with a May 1 deadline. 🙂 I’m not sure I knew that you’re doing chemo. Or perhaps taking someone else? At any rate, hugs and prayers for you or whomever. I have a former colleague whose situation is at this point terminal but he gave me so much peace today on a CareBridge post as we walk through some difficult times with my mom.

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