Memoir Writing Workshop

Since October 31, 2018, I’ve been writing a memoir. The last 9 months have been much more challenging after a fast start. I’m into the hundreds of pages, and various sections are polished more than others. I can barely see the light at the end of the tunnel. I know that when my first draft is done, it’ll require a complete rewrite.

After the Discover Prompts challenge in April, I signed up for a memoir challenge with Shut Up & Write. I belong to my local Shut Up & Write chapter in New Haven that meets every week on Thursdays, and I had just started going regularly after some spotty attendance. But then the in-person meetings were canceled. Shut Up & Write had a 10-day Memoir Writing Challenge. There were quite a few participants. Each day, some questions were asked and then we’d respond in various ways, whether talking about the project or actually writing something that appeared like a narrative.

I took on a challenge project, the last part of my larger memoir. I had been putting off thinking about it because it contains a fair bit of personal trauma. When I first started writing my memoir, which deals with significant relationship upset and traumas in my life, I became ill – suffering extreme stress and anxiety, vertigo and other stress-related symptoms. On top of that, I had a personal crisis at my work that changed my job prospects and led me to abandon my teaching career. This, meant, embracing my life as a writer far sooner than was financially possible.

But here I am. I’m writing every day, I’m getting paid (a bit) on Medium, and I sold my first article in February. I’m making strides to becoming the writer I want to be.

Now if I can only finish (and sell) this memoir. It’ll be enough at first just to finish it. The quest is all.

Please share this blog with others who are struggling with mental health issues in their own lives or with their relatives, with other struggling writers/bloggers, and with those with unclear paths forward. Soon I will offer an email list with weekly or monthly updates. Until then, stay safe and well.

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