As I tell students and clients in my course, Memoir Writing Made Easy, the key to success in developing this new habit of writing your memoirs is to sit down and write! If your planned writing sessions seem to evaporate despite your good intentions, then you need to take steps to address what’s not working.
In Lesson Three of Memoir Writing Made Easy, I suggest revisiting your WHY, WHEN, WHERE and HOW to help you better align your writing in your life. That’s what I have done this week, because my planned memoir writing sessions have been challenging to maintain this month.
First, I reviewed my WHY for writing my memoirs. Yes, I have my WHY. It’s both personal and professional, and is still valid and a strong motivator for me. So no changes needed there.
Then I looked at my WHERE & HOW. I have chosen to do my memoir writing on my computer while sitting on my bed. I find that my bedroom provides a quiet location separate from my workspace. Not having calendar, notes and files strewn about, reminding me of all the work I am blessed to have, I find I can slip more easily into writing about the past, remembering moments and feelings that I want to capture. In fact, when I am writing in my bedroom, I frequently feel bundled in a great cloud of inspiration and pleasure as the memories – even the challenging ones – flow. And I’m reminded of the delightful period when I was writing Pay Attention, Say Thank You, when Bob would bring me breakfast in bed.
So my WHERE and HOW are intact.
The problem I need to address to make my memoir-writing habit work for me is my WHEN.
At the beginning of the year, I decided that my memoir-writing is sufficiently work-related that I would incorporate my weekly two-hour session into my normal work week. So I included memoir-writing on my calendar as the first thing I do on Wednesday mornings. This worked for a few weeks. However, now it seems that the rest of my work life is clamoring for that time slot.
Also, I realize that I have taken on more writing projects than usual this year, and that makes a difference as well. My memoir-writing is no longer a secret pleasure. It’s competing with several other not-so-secret writing pleasures on my plate! I’ve got a book about my experience on the Camino in the works, a second book about joyful living in progress, and more courses and other resources for writers. All that writing is taking more of my writing energy than I anticipated – and my memoirs give way to these Dudley Court Press commitments.
So – I’m going to try a new approach. I’m going to give myself the gift of Saturday morning writing sessions for the next month, to see if that works better for me. There may be times I have to get up earlier than normal if I have some other commitment on Saturdays, but I think there’s potential here.
And who knows, maybe Saturday breakfast in bed will become a new routine around here.
Memoir Writing Made Easy
Are you interested in writing your memoir, but don’t know where to start?
Our Memoir Writing Made Easy course is a step-by-step guide to help you generate story ideas and write with a style you can be proud of. Plus you can work at your own pace, whenever and wherever you want! The course is written for non-writers. Topics include: setting yourself up for writing success, writing styles and formats, editing, legal issues, publishing ideas and lots more!
Visit our Memoir Writing Made Easy webpage to learn more!