Saturday, February 24, 2018
All Quiet on the Blog Front
I thought I should take a few moments and explain why my blog has been so quiet as of late.
Blogs are great tools for sharing brief stories or random opinions. Short, sweet, and to the point. I have enjoyed writing my blog posts and I hope some of you enjoy reading them. I am always open to questions and comments as long as they are constructive.
So why I have not been posting on my blog as of late?
I have embarked on a book project. This is something I've thought about for some time and finally I have decided it's time to do it. This was my New Year's resolution this year.
I had several ideas and concepts for the book that I wanted to explore. The one apprehension I had having never done this before was to get a little guidance on how to approach a fairly monumental project. The answer to that question came early in January when Susan brought to my attention a course that was being offered, in my community, about how to write your life story. Knowing that my book would be autobiographical in nature it was a great opportunity.
I started my first class in mid January and I'm now seven weeks in. Wow, has this been a journey. The class is being facilitated by Wilma Derksen. A person very well known to the Winnipeg Community. Co-facilitating the classes is Martha Stewart (no not that Martha Stewart) who shares fascinating stories of her life growing up as a missionary kid and travelling all over the world. The real stars of the class are the participants who have shared so much of themselves. Truly an amazing group who I am learning so much from.
The weekly classes are just the ticket I needed to be accountable for keeping up with my writing project. As of today I have just eclipsed the 30,000 word mark and I'm just getting warmed up. Pretty good for just a bit over a month. I predict that my project will hit the 80K to 100K mark before I am done so I haven't quite got to the half way mark. I still have a long way to go but I'm enjoying the process and I don't think my progress to date has been a small achievement.
The best part about "Write Club" is the sharing and interaction that occurs. The stories and experiences the group shares are quite amazing. Everyone, absolutely everyone, has a story to tell. As we are all writing our own stories and the adventures of our lives there are many difficult topics that come up. As we have grown to be comfortable each other we have started to open up and share more openly and freely. Honestly, this class might be the best from of therapy you could ever experience.
I am a long way away from publishing my book. It is still taking shape. My first draft is a fairly non-specific, non exciting, list of facts, and experiences from my life. I am working in chronological order to try to keep my thought process in tact. This is raw data at this point.
The challenge that lies ahead is that once complete (that I expect to be 80K words+) I then need to begin the process of editing. Many other question need to then be asked. What is the message of my book? Who is it for? How do I move the pieces of the story around so that it might be interesting for someone who doesn't know me to read. I expect the editing process to be as much work as writing the rough first draft. The pieces of my story will have to moved around like pieces on a chess board until it makes a cohesive story. Many components will be edited out and re-written. Now that I have written nearly a 1/3 done I think I know what direction I am heading. The message behind my book is now becoming clear, although I'm open to tweaks here and there.
Regardless, of what this project will look like in the end, the process thus far has been quite cathartic. Writing about some experiences in my life that would seem quite innocuous have proven to be impactful and meaningful. Amazing how some of life's trivialities form how we think and make a great impact on us years later. Quite an experience to re-live some of those moments by writing them down.
For now I am enjoying the process. I guess everyone will have to stay tuned to see if this book ever sees the light of day...and maybe you might be in it !