A Book on Memoir Writing Gave Me the Willies

I recently finished reading The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing & Life* by Marion Roach and while I will have an official review soon, I thought I would share the visceral reactions I had while reading it. These are unedited and may or may not make sense. Putting my thoughts into words was one step in healing my relationship with writing. Sharing them as they are is another. I need to learn how to, and make peace with, vomiting shitty first drafts. I resist writing because it is something that comes so naturally and part of me wants to rebel. I am afraid that what I write will fail to live up to expectations, mine and other peoples’. I know this is not a unique fear among writers, but it feels very personal. I am afraid that after harboring this secret desire/talent for writing, I won’t be able to follow through on it. I am afraid that lack of follow through will mean I am a flake, lazy, undisciplined. The message of my life is “You are enough.” I am afraid that even though that is my message, I will write and write and write and it still won’t be enough. It is scary to admit that I do not have it all together and figured out. It is scarier still to publish something with errors, but everything has to have a first draft. I hope that by consciously sharing the imperfect stages of writing, I encourage you to get comfortable in the mess of creation. Affie...

Did You Know You’re a Storyteller?

We Are All Storytellers Fiction, non-fiction, short or long; we all tell stories. We tell the story of our day to our spouses/roommates/families. We tell the story of why we’re in a job we hate, or working at what we love. We tell stories about our health, stress, success, failure, breakfast. . .you get the idea. I was thinking about a certain story I tell myself about writing. It goes something like this: Once upon a time, there was a little girl who loved books so much she decided she wanted to write them. She started drafts of many books but rarely got beyond the first few pages. With the help of a very supportive mother, she eventually finished and self-published a book before she was a teenager, even selling it to a local children’s bookstore. But because that was the only one she finished, she didn’t see herself writing books anymore. All of her story ideas melted away within a few hundred words, and the desire to keep going dissipated. She found a new love, theatre, and only wrote in her journals and for school. Her writing was always complimented by teachers and earned good grades. In the back of her mind, she believed that she could pick up writing again someday and be good at it. She continued to read and discovered a talent and liking for editing. She thought that maybe she wasn’t meant to write but to help other writers shape their words and launched Lady Myers’ Wordsmithing. At first she wanted to help anyone with anything: College papers, resumes, cover letters, books, you name...

About Those Crickets. . .

I’ve shared before about my experiences of living with depression and anxiety. I would say that depression occurs more often, but the last few weeks have had my anxiety all riled up. This is in part why I have been absent from the blog (hence the crickets). One of the challenges of anxiety is having lots of excess energy that refuses to be used for anything productive. How anxiety has manifested for me Tired but wired. Elevated heart rate. Increased muscle tension. Difficulty concentrating. Excessive, repetitive worrying. Difficulty sleeping through the night. Mood swings. I would say three things have played major roles in setting this little bout off: coming off a pain medication, allergies, and the anniversary of something less than pleasant. Pain Meds For years I have used pain meds to manage my fibromyalgia, even before I knew that’s what was causing all of my pain. I have had varied levels of dependence on them, but even going off of them slowly is hard. The happy, soothing chemicals the meds triggered the release of are hard to come by in other ways. I have been on an anti-anxiety/depression medication for the last year, which is keeping me from going completely bananas. Allergies Ugh. Ugh, ugh, ugh. Almost as soon as I got back from England, allergies got triggered. I was sneezing, sniffling, coughing,  and my head was pounding. Any type of non-drowsy medication exacerbates my anxiety, so I rely on a neti pot (for flushing my nasal passages) and an antihistamine that makes me drowsy at night. Over-the-counter acetaminophen was the strongest stuff I had to deal...