Preparing to Get Started

I’ve decided to write a memoir. This was a big decision. So I committed to the project by telling people. Being one of those people that takes responsibility very seriously means that it’s time to start.

How does one start a writing project? I decided to first prepare for my task by inviting a friend who specializes in organizing space to help. What a great day that was. After moving furniture and clutter I felt a new found freedom. My friend says that, “moving furniture changes the brain”. So now my writing space is in front of a window and not a wall. I awake the next day ready to write. The office feels clear, but I don’t.

I had decided on a writing approach, in other words a voice”, but as I turn that idea in my mind I create doubt. Anticipating this writing block I have signed up for a memoir writing workshop. It was a wonderful afternoon. I realize immediately that I love being in the company of writers. There are many helpful suggestions offered in the workshop. The best is to write something everyday and if you can’t write then be sure to visit your writing.

I learn that a key componant of a memoir and maybe all writing is the muse. That part of you that reflects and ponders. I love to explore life sustaining questions and thoughts about experiences. That process usually brings forth ideas and always simulates more questions. That is where I am with more questions.

Prehaps this is why I prepare so deeply to begin the journey and don’t get down to the assignment. I remember the first day I began the job of the Executive Director of a non-profit. I felt the same doubt. I went around asking members and friends to help me define the parameters of this work. Some ideas resonated like “make preservation of the place a priority”. One that I didn’t take to heart was walk the boundaries of the property. Here I am again soliciting ideas from others and not looking inward. I think I will call this looking outside myself, research and move on.

I enjoy “the doing”. Diligently each day I check things off things on my list of tasks and feel good. I’m sure you are all thinking I should put writing on the list. Well I did try that and I put it right at the top. Only then when I began my doings I skipped to the easy things.

I find that the queiting my mind and looking inward is more difficult. This time however the universe has not let me off the hook. Later today I will leave for a three day silent retreat. I have participated in this event in past years and love the quiet time. So maybe my muse will step forward this weekend. But before I go maybe I’ll go purchase a plant for my desk. My organizer says that really helps one get started.


2 thoughts on “Preparing to Get Started

  1. The Muse! yes, listen to Her! and yay, you for sharing your journey. I too love being in the presence of other writers.
    Enjoy that retreat, and let’s keep going back to the desk.


  2. The Muse! Double yes! I often think preparing to get started is all about preparing to receive the muse, and writing/thinking/editing/researching in the space of creativity where we may or may not be visited by that inspirational presence. Habit, habit, habit of writing! I love what you say about having a space, of building connections. These are really important things. Yes, P, “letʻs keep going back to that desk.”


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