To make time for writing, you have to be serious about the principle that your writing is your work. You must act on it and take it as seriously as your paying job.
A big part of success is showing up and doing the work. The same is true in writing a memoir. To succeed you have to do some writing; you have to demonstrate some discipline in your memoir writing, some nose to the grindstone.
Now the writing process is not straightforward or linear and there are many unexpected twists and turns to the process. In fact, in the link below to blog posts on discipline in writing, you will even find a post of taking time out—which doesn’t seem very much like discipline.
No one said it would be easy to show up and do the work of writing a book!
“Writing is hard,” you realize again as you look at your production for the day. “Perhaps I’m not cut out for this.”
To your dismay, you have been writing in snippets for many days now. In the mornings, when you show up at your laptop—later and later it seems, you must face, as does every writer, a demanding master: your daily writing. Why can’t writing be more fun? Why can’t it be—well, to tell the truth—less hard?
Oh, how you wish it were the end of your scheduled writing period for the day! Why did you think you could do this book-writing thing!
“Whom am I kidding?” [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
When should you take a break from writing?
Writing is hard work, and there will be many times when it seems too difficult. You sit at your desk and nothing much comes. Your impulse is to get up to do something—anything—else, as long as it’s not writing! You think of the lawn that needs mowing, the closet that needs cleaning, etc.
But, stop and ask yourself if you may simply need to take a break from writing and need some physical activity, rather than avoiding the work. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
Make Writing Your Memoir Less Daunting
Writing your memoir does not have to be an intimidating task. Envisioning your autobiography as a series of stories makes the sizable task of writing the stories of a lifetime tolerable and ultimately enjoyable. Lifestories, written singly just as they are told, one by one, add up—sometimes effortlessly—to a memoir.
Whenever I have written a book, I have written it several pages at a time. Were I to ask a beginning writer, “can you produce a 140-page story for me?” most would blanch and then protest, “I can’t write that much!” When I ask people if they can write a 3-, 4-, 5- or even 7-page story, most will answer, “Sure I can do that.” [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
What to do when you don’t feel like writing?
Writing a memoir is not easy. As I have written so many times—no one has ever promised it would be. Au contraire…
Memoir writing can be difficult. Among the biggest of the difficulties is discouragement. How easy is it to write when you don’t feel like it and are sure you are producing junk words? In case you haven’t guessed (but I’m sure you have been there done that)… [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
To your dismay, you have been writing your memoir in snippets. In the mornings, when you show up on your laptop, you face, as does every writer, a demanding master: a writing stint for the day.
Oh, how you wish it were the end of your scheduled writing period!
Like many memoir writers, your memoir writing time is perhaps not long. Then you need to move on to the numerous chores that are attendant on keeping a life and a home going. You feel some urgency to write deathless prose because of the short time allotted.
But some days, even your short writing period seems too long. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
There’s a big difference between your commitment to writing your memoir and being interested. “But I do want to write my memoir,” I can hear some hypothetical person insisting. No, this is not about wanting to write a memoir, not about trying to write one, not about being interested in writing… What I am writing […]
Some people successfully use the notion of writer’s block to convince friends and family that, while they’re real writers, they just happen not to be producing–but a person can do this only for a while. Remember: you can never successfully use writer’s block to get your stories written!
Don’t Talk Your Stories Away
When a writer talks too much and too revealingly about a work-in-progress—especially at the early stage before the writing has taken shape—the energy to get the story written is often scattered. Sometimes what passes for a writer’s block is only a failure to relate to your stories in a way that’s conducive to getting them written. This may seem like a writer’s block but it’s not. It’s really poor writing discipline!
People have an urge to make their stories public—in any format that will satisfy the impulse. Talking over a cup of tea may be just as satisfying a release as shaping a memorable poem or novel or life story.
It is later than you think. In the years I have been helping people write memoirs, I have seen people die and people grow too old. The energy not only to write deeply but to write a memoir at all has been lost to them; their stories have been lost. We go through our days […]