Some of you have declared that 2012 is The Year of Your Memoir!* Hooray!
Now that we’re one month into this new year, how are you doing?
Some of you are writing page after page after page. WooHooo! I’m cheering for you.
Others, I suspect, struggle to keep at it.
If that sounds like you, here’s a message of hope: Think “granny squares.”
Last Saturday at the new writers’ group we started in our town, I compared vignettes (chapters) to granny squares.
I told our group—some of them young mothers with several kiddies at home—about the years I had little ones and how hard it was to complete a knitting project—it took sooooo long to knit a sweater. (In fact, I never finished a lovely navy blue wool sweater, and I still feel bad about that. Eventually I gave it, and all the yarn and knitting needles, to the Salvation Army. I hope someone was inspired to finish it.)
Around that time I discovered granny squares—those little crocheted squares of yarn that were, in my case, four or five inches across. I could whip out one of those in fifteen minutes! Fifteen minutes and I was done! I thrived on the sense of accomplishment, of completion, of knowing that I was one step closer to a finished afghan.
As fifteen-minute openings appeared in my busy schedule, I crocheted more granny squares and before long, I had made enough to stitch them together into a small afghan. Taken in small pieces, my efforts added up and I completed my project.
The key was setting realistic goals, goals I could measure and achieve.
So think of your vignettes as granny squares. Work a little on them here and there.
Each time you complete a rough draft, congratulate yourself. Celebrate your accomplishment!
Just think: If you write one rough draft (say, three to five pages) once a month, you’ll have twelve stories at the end of 2012!
For those who are very busy, aim at one rough draft every two months, and you’ll have six stories for your memoir at the end of 2012!
The clock is ticking. Don’t let your memoir sit unfinished like my navy wool sweater.
Be intentional: Get started! Write your stories! You can do it! Yes, you can!
*References and links:
Linda Joy Myers and The Year of the Memoir,