Category Archives: Memoir

Deadlines and Do-overs

My goal to finish this book by the end of the year may have been a bit hasty. I’m twenty-five chapters in, with 64,000 words written but still working on the re-writing and editing of the first five. I’m 97.3% sure I’m finished with Chapter one. But that’s also why I don’t think adhering to an arbitrary deadline is a swell idea. I’ll just keep on keeping on until I’m satisfied its the best I can do.

I think I was up to about Chapter 6 with the re-write but that’s now Chapter 9 because I backed up further to add in necessary detail all the way back to Chapter 1. With that being said, I don’t know when I’ll be finished.

I’ve learned a great deal being part of the Florida Writers Association and joining the Bradenton Writers Group chapter. Its a diverse group of people so the critiques bring different points of view. Because of joining during covid I started with having our meetings online. Now we meet in person.

The process with the writing group: post your piece of writing in a shared google docs folder, make multiple copies so other members can make corrections/notes, read your piece aloud at the meeting and then the critiquing begins. There is a 3000 word limit.

And speaking of length limits, I’ve also been wrestling with chapter lengths. That’s another reason I’m back to the first five chapters. There are a lot of moving parts when writing a book. Chapters need to end well so the reader wants to continue. Whenever I rearrange chapters the ending needs extra consideration thus, more time.

Yes, I’m learning a lot as I go, between reading memoirs, books on writing and the writing group. That explains why I had to back up and re-write my re-write. There’s also a memoir group I might look into joining. It does take time, and in the times I’m not writing, I’m thinking about it. Trying to guess or predict when I’ll finish gets harder all the time.

Each chapter has a quote for a subtitle. I pick the quotes based first on the subject of the chapter but also on who is being quoted. The quotes are from my favorite poets, artists, authors, leaders and philosophers.

By way of a tease, (besides the picture at the top of the page) Chapter 1 is titled “Broken” and the quote:

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills.

Ernest Hemingway

I have been on a Hemingway tear for a while now. “A Clean Well Lighted Place,” by Hemingway was recently recommended to me and while I was on Amazon “Papa Hemingway” popped up–Amazon really knows how to market. I had to have that one too. I had read it in high school for English class. That’s when I first fell in love with his work and the whole legend of the man.

Enough for now, maybe I’ll be able to give you a tease for Chapter 2 next time…..

Just for fun….