11/13/13

In the trenches

Yesterday's writing didn't come as quickly or result in nearly as many words. But I did sit with my manuscript for 2 hours and I feel like the things I wrote were needed. That's the thing that's sometimes maddening about the process of writing. Not everything you write turns out to be stuff that goes in your story, but some of the things that end up there you never would have found if you hadn't done that stuff first. So I'm trying to be patient with myself. I'm trying to trust the process and "stay in character." I know that's a thing that actors say and not writers, but it feels like it applies. The fact that my book is going to be a memoir about growing up in a nomadic, southern preacher's house and how that has molded and affected my faith over the years means that I have to speak from several different places in my life and the voice I have has changed since I was a little girl.

It's also hard to know how broad or narrow my focus should be. There are tons of events that I could relate, some I remember really well and others that are really fuzzy. Right now my approach is to just tell everything no matter how well I remember it, but I'm concerned that I'm skimming over everything in order to get it all down rather than digging deep into certain scenes that need it more. I guess when I go back and edit I can decide that, but still when you're trying to cover 35 years or so, it's hard to know how much emphasis to put on the beginning when I know that the real lessons came much later. And how in the world do I really talk about my whole life without it becoming an autobiography?

I don't know. I don't have the answers to these questions. Maybe I will in the months to come. As for today's writing, this is it. I haven't added anything new to the manuscript today. I decided it would be a mental health day today and I would just soak up for awhile before trying to produce again. Here's hoping that pays off tomorrow. See you then!

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