This is a great article by Linda Joy Myers:
Who hasn’t been in this state of mind? My latest excuse is that my laptop was broken. Yes, people, it does happen. My computer has had viruses before which were curable, but never have I had a broken hard drive and motherboard. Just like that.
Back in the day I wrote pen to paper and I still use my paper journal every now and again. As it was this last time I contented myself using my Kindle Fire’s journal app which was fine for short notes. The Kindle is not the tool for stream of consciousness writing, that’s for sure!
Now that I am back on track, it’s time to get busy again, although I am still waiting to get the back up disc from our storage unit. The most recent back up anyway. So yes, I have lost some of my work, but I don’t think it will be too bad. Fortunately I had printed out some hard copy.
Thank you Linda Joy Myers, for your expertise, and for your encouragement!
Written words can be meaningless, worn out like mismatched socks that stay in the back a dresser drawer; or stale like a loaf of old bread growing moldy in the breadbox. Words used so many times before are not adequate to express what needs to be articulated or communicated. Sometimes my pen collects dust on the desk along with the empty pad of paper or the computer screen stares back at me with its blank screen. Why try? I say to myself. There is no point in this. Who cares what I have to say? What can be expressed that hasn’t been said before?
I would have to spend every minute of my life writing to complete my opus. As it is my existence with all its distractions keeps knocking me off task. On the other hand if it wasn’t for daily life what would there be to express? I’ve often thought that the creative process is much like being pregnant; from the conception of an idea, through the labor of writing to the birth of the finished work. I am also protective of my “babies” before I send them out into the world, whether they are poems, essays to contests, or blog posts.
What I am realizing, is that not everyone gets as excited as I do about reading and writing. I have emailed posts or links to my blogs to friends or family, expecting an immediate response or reflection. What I get is, “I haven’t had time to read your email”, or “I saved your post to read another time. I am really busy.” I have come to terms with that, and so I continue, writing every day, on whatever the muse brings forth, and she can be elusive or demanding at any given moment. The point is to make myself available.
The discovery of my family history on the maternal side of my family has been inspiring and has taught me the value of the personal story. So many stories are lost when left untold and I am grateful to my dad who wrote his stories and articles about his childhood and experience during WWII. He also became the historian of our hometown of Palouse, as did his father before him. My dad passed away recently but he left this precious legacy and I feel his spirit encouraging me onward. There has been no one to date that has written about Mom’s side of the family so I feel inspired to do so and have interviewed my mother and my aunt, the last two of their generation of our clan so that I can record some of their life experiences.
I have read that memoirs, like all stories, mine included need to have focus; a beginning, a middle, and an end. This is my biggest challenge, this focus. I imagine there are those who are curious about what it was like living in a religious cult or how I recovered from years of domestic violence as a battered woman. My personal story has taken on a life of its own and now that I have perspective and hopefully some wisdom, perhaps I will bring it to completion. Perhaps my story will inspire or give encouragement to another and I hope my words will make a difference is someone’s life.
There is always the question; fact or fiction? Maybe it isn’t a memoir that I should be writing, but a work of fiction; changing the names to protect the innocent. These are thoughts to consider as I open my mind to the muse. No matter, it’s all about the journey and I continue to write because words can give hope, healing and voice the universal. I write because I must. Writing is like breathing. Writing has a purpose that is larger than my individual life. This is my calling.