Using a Motivation Technique
The Memoir Network was pleased to receive this answer from blog reader Justine Kuntz in response to Denis Ledoux’s article titled “Motivation Technique for Writing:”
In the spring of 2012 I decided to do what you have suggested in your entry titled “Motivation Technique for Writing.” I had concluded a memoir that I had been working on sporadically for seven years. My goal was to finish it before August and self-publish it for my cousins before we get too old to remember the stories.
I chose the birth of my daughter as a good stopping point in my story because I had several themes that tapered off at that point. I wrapped up the title theme “If She Was a Boy…!” as it felt like a logical place to end for the time being. I made a tentative Table of Contents with deadlines for what needed to be accomplished, and then assigned a completion date to each block. I ticked off the stories by placing an asterisk in front of the title of each completed story.
The challenge of meeting the work schedule deadlines became most helpful as a visual and surprisingly revved my energy for meeting the deadlines. Within months I saw my story printed and available on Amazon.com as a 180 page memoir. That accomplishment has spurred me on to complete Part II with a different theme which inadvertently developed out of Part I, as a ’60s era saga when divorce ran rampant throughout America’s family structure.The whole process was as if I had to get the story on paper, let it percolate and savor itself as a single manuscript and then revisit it with the idea of finding themes and a way to break it into a manageable work schedule with a Two Part focus. Last summer was most productive, and I even took a month’s vacation. My book came out on Thanksgiving Day. How unique!
A writing coach can help you at every step of the process. Having “been there and done that”—and being able to talk clearly about it, a memoir-writing coach can point you in the right direction and gently correct your course.
A coach is a teacher, a cheerleader, a critic, a motivator, a writing buddy, a person who holds you accountable for meeting your goals, a good listener, and sometimes an editor—and a coach can be more if you need more.
For a free consult, call 207-353-5454 today to make an appointment.
Click here to read more about coaching.
Denis, you are right on target in your blog post (from June 17, 2013, “Motivation Technique for Writing”) but I had to discover the method myself. In retrospect, once I got a handle on it, it seemed so logical that the work became pleasurable and almost easy. Now I’m working on Part II. I have shared the idea of the “Tentative Table of Contents” with my students and they all say that has been a valuable motivator to get them back on track after experiencing derailment. Thank you for jogging my memory and motivating me to write this as a confirmation to your valuable work.
This post is one of over 500 informative, well-written articles we have made available to you on this site.
We’ve contributed to your writing success; now we ask you to contribute to the expansion of the memoir conversation.
By reposting this article on your blog or website or reposting on your favorite social media, you will inform your fellow memoir writers of the programs and services—many for free like the blogs—that are available at TheMemoirNetwork.com.
Thanks for your generosity. You rock.