In May 2013, I was journaling religiously every day, and sporadically working on a book. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be historical fiction based upon the life of my grandmother, or a memoir, or some combination of family history memoir and my own memoir.
I made the decision then that I would get the book done by the end of 2014. Done. I gave myself a year and a half.
Shortly after that decision, my job changed significantly, and eventually got a lot more stressful. I still enjoy it, but it takes up a lot more space in my head, that I had been using for writing. A year-long search committee at my church also started then, which was extremely rewarding, but also took up tIme I had been using for writing.
In August 2013 my daughter and I both got smartphones. Everything was at my fingertips! Instead of my notebook being the first thing I touched when I woke up, it was now the phone. And Facebook and Pinterest beckoned.
I stopped journaling daily, but I still made time occasionally to work on the book. I had set that deadline, after all. By the late fall, I realized that I had to make a schedule so that I had intermediate deadlines and could finish when I said that I would. And it needed to be a memoir so that I could work out my own stuff before I tried a novel.
I changed the schedule multiple times, but I did it.
It’s January 1, 2015, and I have 246 double-spaced, typewritten pages of a memoir. 93,976 words.
It’s mostly a history of my relationships with boys and men, from my early crushes, to my marriage, divorce, and later boyfriends and fiance. I online-dated, off and on, from 1999 to 2007. But I also went to college, taught high school, switched careers when I was 23, went to law school, switched careers again at 31, decided to and became a single mom by choice, and in quick succession in 2005 was fired from my job and diagnosed with breast cancer with a not-yet-two year old.
I’m going to take a few weeks off from thinking about my next steps with the memoir, and then I will print it out and see what happens with it next. Stay tuned for my 2014 in books!