543 Day Writing Journey

Memoir. Day 35.

My memoir is almost complete. I wonder, though, if I will ever feel like it’s done and good enough to expose to the world. In my first post of what was then a 30-day challenge, I talked about how I can’t simply read over the draft once or twice before I publish it, and that’s no different with a memoir. The chapters are about ten pages long, give or take, so it takes a long time for me to get over my obsession with perfection.

There’s a folder in my computer files that reads Memoir. That’s it. In it are chapters, files of the raw first drafts, and a bunch of notes and other thoughts that are not complete. I did post parts of it on my web page a couple years ago and people seemed to like it, but then had to take it down so it could potentially be publishable in the future. A few weeks ago, I went to the library and wrote a chapter but haven’t opened it since. I talk about it all the time which must be annoying!

Why am I writing a daily blog when I should be diving into finishing this memoir? Because I don’t want to do it. It’s difficult to open up emotionally enough to share what happened with clarity. I opened it up this morning because it caught my eye. There was no intention, at least not on my part. I looked at it with a level, reviser’s and editor’s mind, and not only a widow’s. I realize it’s because I have been practicing writing in different forms, daily, which is like running on a treadmill before a marathon. I opened one of the chapters and found myself reading, and although I let myself go to this place emotionally, I was able to keep my head level while I read about the minutes after I found out we lost Roger:

I didn’t cry or fall like they do in the movies. There was no yelling because I didn’t want the kids to find out. I stood there in my parents’ front yard on a warm summer night in Southampton, Massachusetts. I’m sure the crickets were probably making noise, but I don’t remember. I felt like I needed to put on a bra and brush my teeth, and wondered if the bats were circling up above waiting to nuzzle their faces into my tangled hair. The boys and I had only been in the state for a few short hours. I stood there without my legs, with nobody to hold me. It felt like everything inside me was unattached and floating around. It was all gone. I was hovering on nothing but hot, melted hell, and all I could concentrate on was the young private’s face.

Although the emotions were there, I also saw some changes I can make, and it showed me my growth in writing. My professors all added something a little different to my writing toolbox that contributes to successfully sharing Roger’s story.

I’m not sure what I’ll do with this revelation, but I do know I’m not done, and I need to set some type of deadline for myself. I need a set day of the week where I go somewhere else and write, and as always, I need accountability.

5 thoughts on “Memoir. Day 35.”

  1. You will get there. I know you will. It’s a process. Most people never even have the thought cross their minds about writing a memoir. So proud you for doing it. And so awesome to see your writing evolve. And it’s fabulous that you can use what life and your professors have taught you to see your growth yourself. Keep writing.
    ♡♡♡♡

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The line I remember, and felt like a gut punch from that post was about how you were so sorry about the young man who had to deliver the news. I don’t remember it word for word, but I do recall actually crying out loud when I read it. You have a talent, and you will find the right time to finish your story.

    Liked by 1 person

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