Day 292 – Truth

Writing after receiving a glowing critique is just as hard as writing after a harsh one. The different is that instead of wallowing in dejection your giddy and wondering how you’ll ever pull it off again and you do want to pull it off again because carrying the weight of a good critique is so much pleasurable than the weight of a bad one. There’s a danger in a good critique though. Your head swells a little and your inner Veruca Salt can take over screaming I’M BRILLIANT! to drown out the nice, humble writer voice in your head saying Don’t let it go to your head. Writing is still hard, even brilliant writers have to try. Don’t stop trying. Anyway, it’s a battle. The part of me that wants to sit smugly on my laurels like...

Day 289 – Thankful

Wednesday night, my memoir class critiqued the first 20 or so pages of my memoir and I just have to say I am so lucky to have found this group of people to share my work with. Everyone was very encouraging and a couple of women in class really, really understand the dynamic I’m portraying. They get it, they get it, they get it and I’m so relieved because writing feels like such a foolish endeavor most days, a labor of love at best. Reading over everyone’s notes again this morning made all the work worthwhile. My words made someone feel something. People, who don’t love me and didn’t have to say anything nice, said nice things! They had suggestions for improvement too, several of which I plan to use during revision, some not....

Day 285 – Consistency

Being consistent is important. Consistently performing a task turns the task into a habit. Habits are mostly automatic behaviors, they’re a given, something that does not require a whole lot of willpower or thought. Turning writing into a habit is very important when you’re working on a book length project because long projects are hard. Most days I wake up uninspired and at a loss about the next step. The last thing I need to do is fight with myself about writing itself, which is part of the reason I write first thing in the morning even though I feel guilty for not walking my dog first because she wakes up with such great expectations of frolics in the park that she can barely contain her wiggles. It kills me, closing the door on her happy feet,...

Day 279 – Saying We

Everyday, I start my writing session with a 30 minute word sprint. I write whatever comes to mind just as fast as it comes without any judgment. Sometimes I rant about my worries or how hard this project is or list all the more responsible things I could be doing instead, but often times I ask, “Where are we going to day?” It’s a none schizophrenic “we” (I know full well that I am not more than one person). It’s a we that takes the pressure off of me. It encourages a dialogue in my head, one that’s kinder and wiser than usual. Strangely, it makes me feel less alone in the process, that maybe my younger self is holding my hand and guiding the way. Besides, when writing memoir the word “I” becomes tiresome. The...

Day 273 – Before Bed

I started an experiment this week to hacked my unconscious (for better or worse). In memoir class, we talk a lot about the subconscious, how a lot of writing happens there, which got me thinking about dreams and interpreting dreams and sleep and memory and imagery and all the meaning we weave into it and it occurred to me that there might be a way to utilize sleep in my writing process besides getting a full 8 hours. The last few days I decided to read the piece I’m working on last thing before bed so it would be simmering in my head a long with my constant recounting of how much sugar I’ve had and wondering what my fasting blood sugar reading will be in the morning and all the other usual blah, blah, blah that goes through my head before I lose...

Day 271 – Progress Report

Current Project: Memoir Status: In Progress Time Spent:  Writing: 21 hrs. Blogging: 2 hrs. Networking:  0 hrs. Reading: 10 hrs. Words: ??? Last week blew, but this week rocked. Twenty hours is the magic number. A writer I know had a teacher in college who insisted that you won’t see significant progress in your career if you aren’t writing at least 20 hours a week and after my experience last week, I kinda believe it. I don’t know what my word count is because I lost track because of edits. Usually, I’ve been writing in beats that kinda frame up as short stories because if I think of this project as a book I panic. However, this week I put all my completed beats into a single document and edited them so that they’d hang together....