1. Others Can Help You Write
Just as in exercise or weight loss, you’ll do better if you have a partner or someone to report your process to. It helps to feel accountable for what you said you’d do. There have been times all I could do was write one piece for my writing group or write list of characters and their description when partnering with a friend. You can use a writing coach to help you; she can help you for an hour in time of need so you can move on. You only really need one person to be on your side encouraging you. If the first page is too blank, start on page two.
2. Routine or Not
I know it’s said that we must have a routine to write regularly. That’s a good idea, if you can do it. You can divide your day into segments. Depending on your situation, you can set a time for paid work, parenting work/play spouse time/ play time, time for yourself and resting time and writing time. At first you may have to work to keep to your schedule or daily segments. In time, you’ll find that you won’t leave out writing time or time to yourself as often. Remember, even if it’s only thirty minutes, one page a day will produce a book a year. Karen Joy Fowler once said at a book reading we were giving that she wrote five days a week when her two children were in school. I know a lawyer who writes after the gym in the early morning hours before work. Some, not such early risers, may work at night once the world becomes silent. Try different times out and see what’s best for your daily routine.
3. Read Others’ Memoirs
I find reading other memoirs very helpful. I found one that started before life and those incidents later were in concert with the child’s experiences. It was interesting to see how the experiences all came together. Another showed how to start in the middle of an action. So immediate! If you’re not sure of your ending, a time or two at the library should help perusing endings of memoirs. Or slow down and read five memoirs for a start. Read prize winners and any one that appeals to you. Those who go before you can help and you can still have a memoir that has your unique story and voice. This can be pleasurable and important research too. Include it in your writing time. It’s part of a writer’s life which is really what we’re talking about here. I’ll continue motivations to write until I feel most are covered. Some suggestions may be more important to you than others. We have our own approaches to life: relationships, spirituality, religion, work, children and writing. As a working counselor, I see our differences and always try to note those differences in my suggestions. Luckily, one way is not all ways.
Best in writing,