I’m a slow writer. My first book, WE’LL BE THE LAST ONES TO LET YOU DOWN: MEMOIR OF A GRAVEDIGGER’S DAUGHTER, took 13 years from writing the first scene to publication. I started work on my current manuscript, BREAKING POINT: ONE WOMAN’S TRANSFORMATION FROM ACTIVIST TO RADICAL IN 1970s AMERICA, in 1999.
I’m also a slow runner. I’ve done a few marathons, with 4:44 being my fastest (and 5:40 being my slowest). But you know what? As long as you’re moving forward, you’re headed to the finish line.
Tell me your story of slow progress.
Hello Rachel (and Nadia)
When I saw this post I thought you were speaking directly to me. I am also a slow writer and constantly berate myself for my lack of progress. I also did a writing course this year (focussed on memoir) and although it was good, I came away feeling less confident than before I did the course. I could see just how much I had to learn and felt daunted by the task.
The main issue I have is that people keep telling me to expand on my recollections of the past and often I just really can’t remember any of the details. Either I have an appalling memory or I’ve just blocked it out. Not that it’s traumatic, just a normal life really, which brings me to the next stumbling block which is getting past the feeling that my life is essentially quite boring!
Nevertheless I carry on writing in dribs and drabs and hope that the fragments will amalgamate.
Good luck to both of you in the next year.
Nadia Greasley said:
Thank you for your refreshing honesty. This resonates with me so much. I have been a closet writer all my life, took online classes from various venues and had a few of my stories published which I found encouraging, but my memoir has been taking years in the making and editing it and rewritiing it is the most difficult. I have two jobs now and I have not written anything for a year now. I am reading though which is just as important. I woulld love to be enrolled in a program which really suits my needs, but which one is the big question? Good luck on your next “slow” project! 🙂
Keep plugging away! There were times where I let my memoir sit for months at a time…same with this current manuscript, too. Writing isn’t always my priority, and I’m OK with that.
Nadia Greasley said:
Good to know Rachel, considering that you hear or read so often that either you write or you don’t. I guess I am following another kind of path…
And Margaret, there is also such a thing as “quiet” memoir. Perhaps, this is what your memoir is: not boring, but quiet. 🙂