The Fella gently reminded me today that I haven’t been blogging regularly, and may have mentioned something along the lines of: your blog is one of the great loves of your life and you should probably not completely abandon it. I proceeded to have a head-spinning, pea soup spewing meltdown in his general direction. Ah, love!
If you read me, but don’t know me, consider this a good thing. If you know me, I’m so sorry. Saying that my personality is a wee bit “off” these days is putting it mildly.
There are some unexpected side-effects to my new undertaking (writing a memoir), one of the major ones being that I’m a big festering open wound of emotions all the time. I knew writing a memoir was going to be hard emotionally, I didn’t realize how hard.
I mean, I sort of knew, because I had written some of my book when I sold it, but I took my sweet time in writing my sample chapters, giving myself the emotional space I needed to get it out, let it breathe, make it readable.
This brings me to one of the other unexpected side-effects: Time. I have a whole new love/hate relationship with it. I’m working with a little less than five months of writing time to get my book done, and the pressure I feel to write something good, and true, and emotionally relatable can be downright paralyzing at times. It’s one thing to delve into your more emotionally trying memories and to put them down on paper on a daily basis, but unless you are a phenom (which you may be, but I’m most certainly not) the first draft is going to look a little something like this: “alskdfja;sdigua;skjfa;sldfkja;seilfa;sdlfjka;skldfj;asldkfja;sdjklf,” that is to say, relatively unreadable. I would say at this point I have about 80 mediocre pages, certainly not anywhere near the place I want them to be in order for people who are not my mother (who will love me even if my book is written in crayon) to read, and a whole lot more still left to write.
When it comes to time I now feel like any time not spent staring at a computer, hopefully making words, but often times copying and pasting and moving them from one place to another, is wasted. This means that exercise, which is my major stress relief in life has gone the way of the Dodo. Eating is also something that has become a sort of scattershot endeavor. Sometimes I do it, and a lot of it, in a bulk session. Other times I completely forget to eat for day long stretches. There is a reason I have not been actively posting my food and exercise logs, as I have for the past four years, it’s because they’re a total mess.
As totally crazy and dysfunctional as I may sound (and feel), I’m really happy. I feel really lucky to have this opportunity, and one of the reasons it is so stressful is because I want to make it something beautiful. I haven’t revealed what my book is about yet, but I will…eventually. While I certainly felt alone at certain points of my life, I know that there are a lot of people who went through exactly what I did (don’t you feel so much suspense!) and I really want to be a voice that does them justice.
I have reached out to a few of the professional writers in my life for words of wisdom in the last month, and one of the things that they’ve said (and I paraphrase since they’ve all said pretty much the same thing) is that it is totally normal to be a complete and utter basket case, and you will eventually find your groove and move past it.
Lord, I hope so. In the meantime I signed up for a running group that meets once a week. I’m going to relieve some stress if it kills me.
Egg white omelet with avocado
Roasted vegetables, chickpeas, and brown rice with tahini