Day 85 – The Elements of Memoir

Tonight was the first Elements of Memoir workshop at the Writing Barn and it did not disappoint. The other writer’s are fascinating. Most of the time tonight was taken up with introductions. Each of us took  turns explaining a little bit about ourselves and the stories we’re working on. My greatest fear was that the class would be a catty and full of one-ups-manship, people grappling for the worst life ever award (nobody ever writes a memoir about their happy childhood and/or perfect marriage), but there was none of that. The class is mostly woman, most of them older than me, all of them baring the burden of very different histories. I am so eager to get to know the people they are now and hear about who they were getting to bed tonight won’t be...

Day 84 – Two Things

My short story is not finished and today is the deadline. The beginning is done, now we’re milling about in the middle somewhere no where near the end so I am pushing the deadline back again. Ugh! I know, I know. Another failure, another deadline missed, but there is a win here. The deadline wasn’t missed because I didn’t show up. I showed up and won the first half of the battle. The second half was lost because I beat myself up with perfectionism. Writing, rewriting, edit, edit, edit. Bleck. But I showed up anyway damn it! It’s accept your losses and move on time though. The new deadline is March 31st.  The piece might not be submission ready, but it will be done. I like to sit on things for a week or two before giving them a final edit....

Day 83 – The Ordained

Zadie Smith is in my literary crosshairs. I’d heard of her before. I’d seen her books on display at Book People, but for some reason never felt compelled to pick one up until listening to her interviews on YouTube. Her 2006 interview at the PEN World Voices Festival caught my attention today. Around 43:40 a woman asks Zadie what her biggest challenge was when she started out and Zadie says confidence and specifically “who gave you the right.” I wanted to jump up out of my chair and pump my tiny fist. Yes! That is exactly it! Growing up I got the impression that artists were ordained, geniuses from birth who were granted permission from the universe to do what they do. But that’s never been true. Nobody every gave them permission....

Day 82 – Weekly Progress Report

Current Project: Short Story Status: In Progress/Behind Schedule Time Spent: Writing: 15 hrs. Blogging: 7 hrs. Networking: 3 hrs. Reading:  7 hrs. This week went better than last week. There was no vomiting at least. I got writing hours in and made progress despite myself. The short story deadline may need to be pushed back to March 31st, but I’m going to see what kind I can get down in the next couple days before doing so. My mood and confidence were down the last couple of days for no good reason. My doubts run rampant and I can’t rain them in, which leads to over thinking and rewriting details in every way imaginable. Strange it’s harder to write this story than the children’s book. The care I take with it is too much though. It’s...

Day 81 – Doubt, Doubt, & More Doubt

Sometime weekends give me too much time to think and my mind goes to awful places. The reasons this project will fail vastly out number the reasons it will succeed. It is very likely I will be unpublished by the end of this year and it is very likely that I’ll have to go limping back to a traditional career. A traditional career, sitting at a desk among a sea of desk, battling to take the high road amid petty office politics day in and day out is what simultaneously drives and cripples me. It’s what’s driven me to invest the bulk of my time and focus on a dream, but it’s also the source of anxiety that sends me into an incapacitating state of endless editing. Those two halves go to battle on weekends when I don’t have the tedium of...