Memoir, Writing, Writing the First Draft
Comments 10

The Long and Lonely Road to Writing a First Draft

“Creativity is the link between our inner work
and the outer work that society requires of us.
Creativity is the threshold through which
our nonaction leads to actions of beautification,
celebration, and healing in the world.
Creativity is both an inner work and an outer work.”

– Matthew Fox

Many years ago, I worked as a feature writer for a Hong Kong-based publication. The transition from working as a travel photographer to feature writer was not difficult at all because I was familiar with my territory – Asia. I was also used to the hours and hours spent working on a story by my lonesome self.

I spent many hours travelling to distant places, and more hours writing articles. I knew then how lonesome writing as a profession could be. I don’t know if I had just forgotten how it feels, but after spending weeks and weeks working on the first draft for a memoir, I feel it – the heavy weight of loneliness, a kind that I have never known.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t spend endless hours writing. In fact, I spend only about an hour or so working on the first draft because I have a day job as well as a bevy of animals that need my care and attention. So, I am far from being isolated in a desk writing my life away.

In the beginning it was wonderful – remembering and writing about events in my past that I had long forgotten. I guess in the beginning, too, I was still writing with the momentum gained from attending an online memoir writing class.

After a couple of months it just went pffttt….pffttt…pffttt. Although I stopped for a couple of weeks to give time to the Lenten season, I am back at work on the first draft, but it feels now more like a burden than a joy. Ouch.

There’s also that foreboding feeling of walking on unknown territory. There are days when I wish someone would hold my hand and accompany me along this new and bewildering path. That feeling is a big surprise for me because I have been blazing trails alone during most of my adult life.

Is it aging? Newbie nerves? I don’t know. What I do know is that I need help, and I have no qualms admitting that.

I have searched the web for online book completion classes and have found a few, some of which are way too pricey. There are a few affordable ones though, such as:

I’m joining a group that will be starting soon…

Here’s hoping you’ll find your way through the meandering paths of a writer’s journey.


Linking to  Daily Post’s Discover Challenges: Memory

Photo by Vladimir Kudinov via Unsplash



  1. Lovely to hear from you, Rosanna. The journey isn’t an easy one, is it? I imagine memoir-writing is an emotionally evocative experience beyond writing fiction which can also be emotionally charged. I wish you the best on your continuing journey 🙂 ❤


  2. Thank you Diana. I thought spilling your guts was the hardest thing – it actually has become easier and I’ve seen my life from a different perspective. The hardest thing now is knowing where to put what and then some. Thanks for the visit. I am amiss in my blog hopping….


      • I find myself often writing day and night and forget the outside world exists… Trying now to make some changes for my good, work in the years, go out with others, find a poetry group… etc…


        • I hope you’ll find a poetry group. I’ve realized that writing does not have to be a lonesome job. It’s good to be part of a writing community.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Hi Rosanna

            Thank you for commenting. In response to your suggestion, I’m a member of several poetry groups on FB.

            You can join us at A Pots Haven, or Potpourri Poets and there are to many to name.

            Come and join us if you like


            • Thanks for the invitation, Bojenn. Perhaps when I have become more acclimatized to this book project, I will be able to join some poetry sites.

              Liked by 1 person

          • Rosanna, i couldn’t find where to comment on your blog… I wanted to say hello…
            I did visit it and it’s wonderful. I will look forward to your words of wisdom


  3. Pingback: The First Draft: Lessons learned (1) | Writing on the Pages of Life

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