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.

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