Memoir Writing: Strategies for the Fall

by Matilda Butler on September 12, 2011

catnav-news-active-3Post #61 – Women’s Memoirs, News – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler

It’s Fall and Time to Get Serious about Your Memoir Writing

Labor Day is over, the morning air is as crisp as a bite into the new season apples, vacations are past, and thoughts return to unfinished writing — memoir writing. Here are five strategies for setting your mind and body to the task of writing:

1. Yesterday, I heard a teacher describe her many years of elementary school work — nine months of teaching separated by three days — June was like Friday, filled with anticipation; July was like Saturday, full of enthusiasm and fun; August was like Sunday, worry and concern and a bit of depression about Monday–also known as September.

memoir, memoir writing, journaling, autobiography, how to write a memoirAs a writer about to re-engage with her memoir work, I urge you to savor your summer experiences — even if they flew by. Whatever fun you had, whatever small writing accomplishments you achieved, should be celebrated. Time away from writing can often be productive as the time spent staring at a computer monitor. Whether you had some time to yourself or relished time with family, consider yourself fortunate and recharged for the fall’s writing.

2. Although days have been getting shorter since June 21, it is only in the fall that we begin to notice less daylight. If possible, write in the morning while you still feel the hope and enthusiasm of the day and before life’s distractions set in. Many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder and, indeed, it can make you feel SAD. Therefore, write when there is plenty of outside light streaming in your windows.

3. The mind and the body support each other. Having a hard time concentrating on your writing? Take a walk. Go to the gym to exercise. Foods also matter. Fish high in omega 3 as well as vitamins B-12 and D may help your mood.

4. We probably all grew up with the saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Well, I figure this works for Jill as well. Plan for some fun along the way. Changing your activities and your mind can actually contribute to your writing.

memoir, memoir writing strategies, memoir, memoir writing, journaling, lifewriting, how to write a memoir, autobiography5. Set reasonable goals. No matter how hard you work, you won’t have your memoir finished in the next 12 hours and probably not in the next 12 days. Even the next 12 weeks is a stretch. Some people take 12 years. Settle in. Create your goals. You will never get there unless you start taking small, reasonable steps in the right direction. If you try to climb all the steps too quickly, you’ll be come frustrated. Set your goal and make progress.

Now, as Kendra likes to say, “Get to writing.”

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