Writing about writing

Posts tagged ‘memoir’

Writing without a Net

Over the many years I have been writing, most of it has been for personal use only–journaling, participation in NaNoWriMo without any intentions of doing anything with my novel, blogging, or for school purposes (as an English Instructor, it’s impossible not to write). I have never feared my writing–what I write, how I write, the physical presentation of what I write, and so on. I have always written mostly for myself and in a manner that pleases me, myself, and I–since I had no intentions of publishing anything I wrote.

But in recent months (ok, years), I’ve determined to finish my memoir and publish it. (Still vacillating between self-publishing and going the traditional route.) In doing research on memoirs and the publication of memoirs (because that’s what we’re supposed to do before publishing, right? research the genre to see what else is available?), I have discovered that the memoir genre is wide open for methods in presentations. The memoir genre is currently hot in the world of reading as is evidenced by the fact that we can’t really do a search of any kind on a subject without running across a memoir on that subject.

The good news is that means that my memoir fits right in with the current demand. The bad news is that so many people are writing and publishing their memoirs. That means then that I have to find a way to write my memoir in such a way as to make it stand out from the rest, to make it similar enough to other memoirs so I don’t scare away potential readers, but different enough so that readers don’t toss it aside with a groan because it’s “just another memoir.”

I feel fairly confident that I have found a way to put my memoir together in such a way as to be just different enough to be cutting edge and just similar enough that readers will be glad to pick it up to read.

One idea I have about my memoir that is very different from other memoirs is that I would like to include or publish alongside my memoir a Bible Study. This is where I’m thrown for a loop. While I have read and completed many Bible Studies over the years, I have never even thought of let alone attempted to write one. As I have begun researching how to write (put together) a Bible Study for publication, I have discovered that there is NO information on “how to write [and publish] a Bible Study.” There are dozens if not hundreds of books, websites, etc. about how to write and publish a memoir (or just about any other genre you can name or imagine), but there is NOTHING on writing/putting together a Bible Study!

Considering the fact that I am writing in unchartered territory, I was hoping for at least a little guidance in writing a Bible Study–as I have had over the years when writing fiction or basic non-fiction. But there is NOTHING. At least not anything that I have found at this point.

I have come to the conclusion then that there are no rules or guidelines that are expected to be followed when it comes to writing a Bible Study. I’m sure there are some because obviously writing a Bible Study involves using the Bible itself and must be faith-based, but are there rules or guidelines regarding the expected translation? Are there guidelines regarding physical appearance on the page?

What makes things even more interesting, if you will allow me to use that term, is that I want to write a JOURNALING Bible Study and maybe even include pictures to color!!!! Are there any rules or guidelines regarding journaling Bible Studies or including pictures to color in a Bible Study??

The good news is that no two Bible Studies that I have ever done have ever been exactly the same style or set-up (except those that are published by the same group or organization, but even within the group, the set-up is unique to each). The bad news is that means that I have to “invent” my own style or set-up.

The good news is that this means that I GET to “invent” my own style or set-up for my JOURNALING BIBLE STUDY/Memoir!!!!

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Epiphany

Lovely_Bones_coverI have been wondering why in the world I have been having so much trouble writing my zombie story this NaNoWriMo when it has been something I have been thinking about for more than a year.  Plus I honestly do think that there could be a decent story there.   So what has been my problem?

I have come to the conclusion that I am having so much trouble because I haven’t finished my memoir that I have been working on.  I made a goal, a commitment if you will, to finish it by the end of 2014 and putting it off to work on my zombie story is only giving me Writer’s Block as far as my zombie story is concerned.

It reminds me of when I first read THE LOVELY BONES by Alice Sebold.  I always do a little background research when I begin a book by an author I have never read before.   One thing I read doing that research on Alice was that while she was writing THE LOVELY BONES, she found that her own voice kept creeping in and attempting to speak for Suzie, the main character.   While Suzie’s story differs in many ways from Alice’s, because of the similarity of there being a rape in both stories (yes, Alice was raped while in college), she was having a difficult time telling Suzie’s story instead of her own.   So Alice set aside Suzie’s story while she went back and wrote her amazing memoir,  LUCKY.  Once she finished her own story,  she was able to get book_lucky_bonesback to Suzie’s and let Suzie tell it in her own voice.

In other words,  like Alice,  I am having to get my own story out of my system before I can concentrate on my new story.   There have been times when I have been able to work on more than one writing project at a time with little to no trouble.   But this time,  for various reasons,  I simply cannot move forward until I finish my memoir.

Rather than continuing to fight it, I am going to go ahead and go back to my memoir for now.   When I am able,  I will get back to my zombie story.   I know it will be better for it.

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