The following is a guest post by Chris Lightfoot. For information on how on how to post a guest blog on the Memoir Writer’s Blog, read our guidelines.
For many of us, finding the time to write a memoir can be challenge. There are so many things that seem to get in the way what with work, family, household chores, the lure of TV and of social media, etc. But…
Are all of these distractions really just a way of avoiding getting down to writing? If you are a new or inexperienced writer, you probably have some doubts about your ability to be a writer and so keeping yourself busy means you don’t have to confront your inner writing demon which feeds on your self doubt and taunts you with the specter of failure.
Give writing a go
If you really want to write, don’t let any of these doubts get in the way. You will never be a writer if you don’t give it a go. As with so many worthwhile pursuits in life, writing a memoir takes determination, commitment and practice.
So how do you go about fitting writing into your busy schedule? Well, here are a few tips which may help you with finding the time to write a memoir.
1. Less is more
You are not looking for a spare few hours. Just 15 or 20 minutes a day will get you into a writing routine which you will find much easier to maintain.
2. Pick a time of day to write that works for you
If you work best in the morning try getting up 15 or 30 minutes earlier before anyone else is around. If you are not a morning person look for another time in the day where you could squeeze in some writing – on the bus or train, during a lunch break, late at night when everyone else has gone to bed. Whatever time of the day or night you choose, stick to it. Make it a regular date on your calendar. Dating assures you are finding the time to write a memoir.
3. Don’t try to write too much
If you only wrote 175 words a day (about the length of my first three paragraph) for 5 days a week you would have 875 words by the end of the week and 45,500 words by the end of the year (assuming you worked 52 weeks!). A perfectly acceptable length for a memoir.
4. Be prepared to give something up
Are there times of the day when you could be more productive – for example how much time do your spend watching TV, catching up on Facebook, trawling the internet? There seems to be more scope than ever for wasting time on computers (or whatever device(s) you habitually use) and so how about cutting down on some of these time-wasting activities and use the time saved to write your memoir.
5. Talk to other writers
If you don’t know any other writers join a local memoir writing group or search for an online writing community. Many other writers face exactly the same problems and time constraints as you and being able to share your fears and concerns will help you to keep going.
6. Write on the go
Just because you are doing something else doesn’t mean that your ideas and creativity stops flowing so always have a notebook on hand when you are out and about or a supply of post-it notes dotted around the house. You could also use the recording or note-writing features on your smart phone.
There are many ways of finding the time to write a memoir. Be creative with how you do it. And…
You Need Editing
The big New York publishing houses NEVER publish a manuscript without extensive editing! Why would you?
I offer a free consult to discuss your memoir’s needs and The Memoir Network’s ability to meet them.
You’ll be surprised at how much a professional editor can quickly and effectively help you tweak your story so that you get to say more clearly and dynamically what you have been trying to say. We tend to be good at what we do. Said one client: “I accomplished more with you in six months than I had in ten years writing alone.”
Click here to learn more about how editing can help you complete a better memoir.