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Prepping My Serialized Memoirs
My elated--relieved--response to Part 1 of Sarah Fay's Substack course
Soooo…this started out as a comment. It eventually got moved into Notes, because it’s rude to hijack somebody’s comments section with this much personal blathering. As I kept typing, I realized that I just need to share it with y’all in a post. So let’s make it one and really talk about this stuff.
I started out with Sarah’s Fundamentals course, because it never hurts to hear basics in any endeavor from somebody new, as well as over and over at different times in one’s life. I find that I absorb new tidbits that I wasn’t ready to deal with the last time(s) I worked with them, or other things that I have a different perspective on because I have changed.
Next, I moved on to Prep Your Memoir, since that is the most pressing project. If you missed it, I bought myself two years on my old blog website to figure out where and how best to migrate my last 6 years of writing. I only have a year-and-a-half left and it is a monstrous mess.
So far, I have only gotten through the first module of this course. It took me three days to get through it.
I doubt this is a normal phenomenon, because Sarah’s teaching cuts right to the point. Nope, this would be an issue specific to the mess that is my writing world.
Here is the comment about Prep Your Memoir - Part 1 that I started drafting until I allowed it the freedom to be a post and finished it:
This was awesome! I am exhausted and hacked off right now, which is a very good sign for what I just did. I've been writing my memoir pieces since 2003. I originally posted a censored, glitter-washed version of my drunk driver/dain bramage tales. Eventually I took them down until 6 years ago. No longer financially dependent upon abusive situations I’d zipper-mouthed about, I started posting again, namelessly, but uncensored.
My life is such a tangled box of thread spools that I could never figure out how to segregate the tales into memoir-sized and targeted chunks. I finally had to stop caring about that. As I detangled--or outright cut out--the thread knots, I started splattering the various colors up onto canvases without worrying about specs, word counts, proper order, tangents, missing chunks, and extended commercial breaks when I had to tap out on a subject for awhile.
I also had to get myself out of the darn Writer's Closet and practice sharing my words with a (small) audience that wasn't my journal, my cats, and my dust bunnies. Some of the canvases were public; some were the drafts folders of my Scrivener because there's only one of me and this stuff takes time.
When the Great Website & Blog Fiasco happened this past December, that was the perfect opportunity to rip apart and start analyzing all this stuff so I could see the patterns of what I even have. I made spreadsheets. I made circle graphs. I did polls and had brainstorming sessions. I made three separate Substack publications because a bunch of it has really different intentions/audiences, especially when I add in 37 years of fiction that I no longer wish to traditionally publish.
All winter and whenever I've started trying to create a Table of Contents or Categories or think about book-sized chunks, I kept saying, "I just need somebody to help me organize it all."
And lo, Synchronicity strikes again!
Over several days, I've bombed through this first module on rinse-repeat for my multiple memoirs. Some are more complete than others. It was exhausting. Frustrating. Yup, it absolutely brought up all the, “Why would anybody wanna read this crap!”
But for the first time EVER, all the splattered hues of my Jackson Pollock painting are starting to look like actual pictures that anybody but me might be able to decipher. And…you know…maybe want to read?
I need to go face-plant now. And get Butt Out of Chair. 🤪🙏🥰
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