Where to start?

When I finally decided to write about my life, I didn’t really know where to start.  I had plenty to say, lots of stories to tell, but figuring out where to start was daunting.  In the end, I decided not to worry about it, and  just to write.  I made a list of topics – some were people, some were places, some were specific experiences or memories – and I just picked a topic from the list and wrote about it.  Some things were easier to write about than others.  Often, my first pass was absolutely horrible – full of facts and not much else; reading it was like listening to someone read the phone book.  It gave me a framework, though.  I was getting words down on paper (well, figuratively, at least).

The facts were important, though I knew the end product would need a big dose of emotion to bring my life back off the pages.  I spent weeks working on revisions, much like peeling off the layers of an onion.  I had to figure out how to connect with old emotions that I’d long since buried, and that was a chore.  I also had a really long list of topics that I’d written about in no particular order, so I had to decide how to string together all those pieces.  My story still has no title, and also has no ending.  Yes, I agree.  Those are fairly big things to be missing – but, I needed a break.  So, I’ve put it down, sent it to an editor friend whose opinions I trust and respect, and am moving on to do some writing here.

They say to be a decent writer, you have to exercise your writing muscles.  That’s what this site will be for me – my writing gym.  I intend to write about my memoir and post excerpts of it here.  I also intend to write about the events of the rest of my everyday life.  Well, some of them, anyway.  We’ll see how that goes.

Grand ideas

When I was a kid – and by kid, I mean maybe 20-ish – I wanted desperately to write a book…. Someday…. I never actually attempted to write a book back then.  I wrote – but it was bits and pieces – sort of journal style, sometimes chunks of poetry, mostly just the repetitive rants of a disillusioned, broke, and miserable kid.  Society was my enemy.  My life was my enemy.  I had some grand idea that I had something to share with the world, but the world blocked my attempts, so I got angry at it.

In reality, I had no idea what I wanted to say, no dedication or willpower or follow-through to find a project and stick to it, no clue who I was or who I wanted to be.  Eventually I became an adult and forgot all about it.

Almost two decades later, I had an epiphany.  Actually, it may be more accurate to say I had something of a nervous breakdown.  In any case – I remembered I wanted to write a book.  And I finally had some fuel for it – some stories to tell and some pain.  So began my attempt at writing a memoir, another grand idea.  It’s not done yet.  It will probably never be published unless I publish it myself and I haven’t yet decided whether I want to do that – but, in this space, I will document my attempts to write in the midst of living my normal life, and see where it all ends up.


I’ve decided to publish my posts anonymously for the moment.  The memoir I’m working on includes a number of characters from my life, some of which may not want me to write about them or my experiences with them.  Until I am able to discuss my project with everyone (which may not happen overnight), I’m going to keep everyone’s identity under wraps, including my own.