“Go slowly. Love your story. It will wait for you.”
-Allan G. Hunter
Two years ago I began writing posts in this blog about my attempts to write a first draft. Those attempts resulted in a few dozen pages which are stashed in a shelf together with all the journals I had filled up through the years.
Back then, I grabbed a notebook and pen after deciding to join a 5-pages a day writing challenge, and then a one-page a day challenge. Both were supposed to culminate in a first draft in four to six months. Both times, I managed to write regularly for several weeks then dropped out of the challenges because both times I didn’t really know what to write about.
Now that I am trying again for the third time, I realized that deciding to write a first draft for a book is like planning to embark on a long journey. You don’t just get a ticket and hop on a plane. When you decide to go on a long trip, you plan for the trip. You decide where you want to go, then you budget money, time and resources. You consult someone about plane tickets, accommodation and so many tiny details. You read travel guides.
This time around, I know that I need to write a memoir because it is part and parcel of the spiritual journey that I had embarked on since I was young. I have been more meticulous and have taken the time to decide on what I am going to write about.
I planned on when I am going to write and where I am going to write. I consulted someone who has written several memoirs. And I am taking along with me two guide books to help stir me towards the right path.
One of these is Write Your Memoir, the soul work of telling your story by Dr. Allan G. Hunter. It is the perfect guidebook for anyone who does not know where and how to begin writing a memoir. It has kept me going – albeit slowly but surely.
If you don’t have time to read the book, I hope you’ll find the time to listen to a podcast where Dr. Hunter shares many of the techniques found in his book. In this podcast, the author dishes out numerous writing tips that any writer of any genre will find useful. It’s an hour and thirty minutes long, but I assure you it’s worth listening to.
The whole process of reviewing one’s life, of paying attention to how one’s life has unfolded, has the capability – if we listen to it, if we slow down and write the words and choose the words – for showing us connections that we didn’t know were there.
- -Dr. Allan G. Hunter