Today I begin my fourth consecutive day of putting my “butt in the chair” to draft my memoir. After 3 years of writing stories, taking courses, worrying about other people reading my work, I have finally decided to settle down and write a garbage draft of my book, warts and all.
After so much procrastinating, I have shifted to a new resolve: just get it out. As Martha Alderson says: “Can’t finesse that which isn’t written”. Besides the first draft is only a first draft. The job is by no means over; in fact it may be just beginning.
The hardest part for me about getting down to it is blocking out distractions in my life and making my book the number one priority. It required giving my husband a clear heads-up: “I will be writing my book in August”. I had to clear my schedule of any frivolous activities: the chiropractor is ok but no unnecessary shopping. Meeting with my writing group is ok but not socializing with my friends unless it’s “after work hours” or on the weekend. Helping out my kids during a crisis is ok but lengthly chatting and hanging out is not.
Getting into a daily routine was another challenge. I like to arise slowly and putter around before getting down to work. I like to sleep in and work at night. For this month I am trying to follow a plan to get up early, work in the mornings until around 1 pm then read or do something mindless like gardening in the afternoon when I can let my mind drift and let things percolate.
So far I have written and sorted out stories in the beginning ¼ of my book. Sixty pages double spaced, about 12,000 words. Not bad for a start.