I first dabbled in writing a number of years ago. There was a story in me wanting to be told – some challenges I faced as a mom. Our family was not recovering well from the challenges but we believed and pretended we had returned to normalcy. When my steadily declining health finally forced me out of work for two weeks, it was like being hit over the head with a 2X4 with the truth of what needed to happen. I decided to leave the job that I loved and be a full-time mom for a while. During my time as a “kept-woman,” as I jokingly called it, I would write my story. A memoir.
My writing skills were pretty decent, so I thought. But a whole book? What was I thinking? So I took some writing classes and joined a writer’s group. It quickly became apparent, though, that telling a story well, and holding a reader’s attention for more than a paragraph, was painstaking work. I felt it in my wrists and my ego. I learned that you should refer to your first draft as your “vomit draft” or your “shitty first draft” because that’s what they usually are. In my case, it was more like a “Norovirus draft.”
However, I was blessed to have stumbled upon a writing instructor who was enormously gracious, who praised not my unworthy composition, but my triumph in tumbling out words onto paper, shaking as I read them aloud. I admit to harboring fantasies that her reaction would be “Wow! That’s amazing writing!” and “I can’t believe you haven’t written before!” A justifiable reaction could have been, “Why are you wasting your time?” But her acknowledgement of the courage it took to stagger through the process was enough to keep me going for a while.
Part of the learning process in the subsequent years was to try my luck at some smaller projects – personal essays – and I did manage to get a few published locally. You’ll see these under my Writing tab.
As far as my memoir, I didn’t finish. Although the story is uplifting in the end, there was a deep well of anguish that needed to be hauled up like a rusty bucket dangling from a fraying rope and then spilled out onto the page. It was dank work. And I left it suspended in mid-air before the rope unraveled completely.
That was about 15 years ago. Now, I am again in an unplanned career “sabbatical.” And I have again decided to tell my story. You’ll see some of it unfold on this site as I pick up where I left off.
Now, where was I… ?