Tag Archives: writing issues

In Limbo

I’ve been avoiding this place, because I’m ready to and have indeed done much of the work to split the two main topics into two blogs, well three.

Frankly, I’m waiting on  the publisher and I’ve been working on the house in my usual semi-organized way.

But none of the “next steps” can be done until one of three things happen:

  1. I decide to take the mask off I have here just because.
  2. I decide to do #1 because I have a publisher for the memoir and news about that.
  3. I get the house clean and the book finished about it, and have THAT book to promote.

I haven’t forgotten about this place. Have thought 100 times I should write a blog about a topic — but I’m not ready.

image from workitdaily.com via google images

(image from workitdaily.com via images.google.com)

After 10 years of work, from rough stories because I thought I might need an online memorial (had an operation in 2008) to more refined to yet more refined, to finally being far enough away from the stories that I could use my professional skills and pull a book together?

After 3 editors, 3-5 computers, 3 word processors, a file which was so corrupt it had to be retyped, etc. I am done.

And done in I think too, or maybe exhausted is just a better word?

Having the memoir done and knowing it’s pretty good has changed me in some weird fundamental way. I don’t really have anything else to say right now.

I’m done.

 

 

(But Happy holidays!)

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I Hate Smug

My problem with a lot of self-help blogs, house-decorating blogs, in fact many blogs these days, especially those written by most women is that there’s this cutesy “style” which is smug, deprecating, and I find obnoxious.

Sure, fine. It’s the way you and your friends write. As if  — I couldn’t figure that out? But I’m of another generation. If you were going to lecture people about how to do something in my time, you had to actually be an expert, not just moderately more accomplished than I am without any training or attempting to do what you’re talking about.

One of the people who reads this blog has worked in the financial sector for a long time, another has been a cataloging librarian for a long time. If either of them want to tell me something about their field, I try and shut up and listen. But because you can write an entertaining piece about cataloging/sorting things or money/financial matters, even if I read it, unless you have credentials or I know you in real life, I’m not likely to pay much attention.

I like entertaining reading. Honestly! I admire your skill. However, even if I try and make your “1 simple thing to make your home better” which involves 5 essential oils (none of which I own), a diaper (ditto), and a patio table big enough to seat 4 (ditto) and Gawd only knows what else, I will want to pitch something at the screen if I read about your perfect rehab of your “flat” in NYC you pay $100/month for, because you know how to shop, etc. ad nauseum (Look it up if you don’t know what that means!).

Every reader is certainly due entertaining writing. It IS possible to do that and not be smug. And I, for one, will be heartily glad when that notion occurs to the bulk of the blog writers! I read the stuff anyway, usually because I want the info. But walk away grinding my teeth.

If I’m smug — please call me on it! I hate smug.

J

I May Have to Hire a Writer!

Which I find  odd, since, well you know?  I am a writer/editor.

But the backstory stuff, the part of the memoir that’s the lead-up to where it starts, all the junk: neglect, abuse, hormone insanity as a teenager, yada yada I have struggled with for a decade trying to write for someone who doesn’t know me.

It’s better, but it’s still bad.

I know this. Maybe my particular ring of hell (or that for writers?) is being the only person who can tell a story and knowing that you can’t tell it well enough.

I had a friend suggest putting it in 3rd person. Well, actually that solved a problem or two with the first chunk. But overall?  It made it worse. When I switched it back to first person, it is better. But I can’t keep writing and rewriting the same chapters from 3rd to 1st person, and who knows if doing that again would be helpful?

This is the stuff I’d struggle to write and quit when the tears wouldn’t stop. It’s inconvenient to say the least that the thing that traumatized me started so young. It makes telling my story really hard without explaining it, because the memoir is about dealing with it as an adult.  I was 19 where I start the piece. I sure am not Mozart or Beethoven to have accomplished lots of things by that age. What I had done was try to cope with chronic pain, and badly, so that I’d tried to commit suicide twice before I was 20.

Then I turned my life around, and that’s the story.

Maybe I should just rip the thing in 1/2. Instead of telling 40 years , with some (hopefully) funny stories between in 60 pages, I should just do the whole thing in bullet points. I could probably fit 40 years (without the funny stories) in about 2 pages, oh let’s be generous — 4.

I’d give up, but.

But? Two or three things. I don’t give up easily. I’ve got 10 years into this I started writing it in posts. We’ve invested in getting it edited (helpful and not) and 3 sessions at the writing workshop.

I love the new structure, my age at the time being talked about is in parenthesis.

(19) (backstory 1)

(19-20) (backstory 2)

(20+) (backstory 3)

(23+) Twenty three is when the whole thing shifts, again. I met the fellow I’m married to.

I had a huge problem with what to do after 25,when we got married. I’m in the same relationship. We’ve lived in the same place for some time. I had the same business for 10+ years, etc. Things got STABLE, mostly.

Stable is also boring btw? Nobody wants to read the story of what you had for breakfast, unless you’re important somehow. I’m not.

I had someone say they thought they knew what I wanted in my class. I expected this would be WAY off. But it wasn’t. What they said was, “You want vindication.” It was very unsettling to have someone I’d basically just met nail me so well, but they’re right.

I want people to see/understand how HARD it was to beat PTSD as much as I have, without consistent support from family, community, drugs, religion or the mental health field.

I want the people who really have PTSD  to know that someone else understands how hard it is and maybe with the drugs and help and understanding now, their journey doesn’t need to be as hard as mine was.

I want the people who get in a fender bender and say, “I had PTSD for 3 days!” to understand that they probably never had it at all, and be glad!

I want the people who told me I was crazy or who backed away from me or who dismissed what I was going through to understand a little.

I want the people who think I’m unstable because I talk about this stuff to understand why I think, no I know, I’m more stable than they are!

And yes, I’d like all those folks who over the years have told me to “Give it to God,” or “Grow up!” or “Just get over it,” to understand that when you have PTSD it isn’t a choice.