Writing My Memoir: An Update

Since I have written more in my memoir recently and announced last week that my memoir writing is no longer on pause, I thought I would talk about what I have written, what I have left to write, and techniques I’m using to finish my memoir.

My memoir is about my recovery from a coma and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) that I suffered from after an accident nearly four years ago (in case you’re new to my blog and didn’t know… but I talk about it a lot so that seems unlikely 😁).

What I have written (so far in my memoir)

I have been updating this blog all along the way. My latest word count is 54,350 words. According to this website I found called wordcounter.net 54,350 words in Times New Roman font is 136.5 pages. Single spaced (I currently have it single-spaced). If you double space it the page count is 224.4. I haven’t really researched what format agents and/ publishers prefer. It still feels a long way off to even Google that question! If you know what font, font size, line spacing, and other formatting styles that agents or publishers want a manuscript in, let me know. Or really if any of you have any tips or tricks that might help me out now or in future memoir submitting stages, let me know. I know some of you have been through querying and submitting manuscripts in the past or are currently in that process, so you definitely know more than I do on the subject.

What I have left to write (in my memoir)

When I first started writing my memoir I copied and pasted the outline into a new document and wrote content according to the outline. Therefore, I have written everything generally in my outline (and I added sections as things came to me). However, some things still need to be fleshed out quite a bit. I think I am done adding new stories but the way I have always written is that half my writing takes place in editing. So I think I have just talked myself into moving into the editing phase.

Techniques I’m using for finishing my memoir

I had originally written about a memoir mind map I created to help me brainstorm and outline my memoir and shared a generic version of the mind map. I am so far staying pretty loyal to that format (and my outline as I mentioned earlier).

The generic mind map I created. I have a more specific one for myself with details on my particular memoir.

Even though I am staying pretty loyal to my mind map format I fear it may get a little stale. I will have to sit down and read it through (which will happen when I edit) before I send it off to beta readers to make sure staleness hasn’t crept in. I don’t think it has since my writing is always tinged with my goofy sense of humor.😆 And with my worry of staleness and my realization that I do a lot of writing in the edit, I think I have convinced myself to start the editing process now. I found a few web articles that give advice on editing: like this Goddard College article and The Write Life article, and this Medium article.

#CreativityForDays Weekly Project

Family definitely inspires my creativity and this week perhaps more so than normal since we had two occasions that I made signs and cards for. On Saturday it was the 50th wedding anniversary of my parents and Sunday was Father’s Day. I also created a video for the anniversary so I was #creating a lot this week.

After suffering a near-death experience, the recovery can be kind of a selfish process (in my opinion). By that, I mean it’s all-consuming and every step is focused on you. Not that the tunnel vision focus is a bad thing. You really need to be focused on who you are and what you want to achieve in order to meet all your therapy and recovery goals. However, through recovery, I have really leaned on my family so it was great to celebrate them this week. Both of my parents have sacrificed a lot to help me heal. I make jokes at their expense (heck I had a whole blog kind of making fun/light of our new situation as roomies and it’s now a feature on this blog: Watching Pop Culture with my Parents) yet I think they know that the jokes are all in good fun and I do really appreciate them. Because of COVID-19, we didn’t consider doing a big party to celebrate the anniversary but I don’t think we’re big “party people” anyway. Originally we were going to go to Hawaii in March as a pre-celebration of their 50th anniversary. However, COVID-19 had us canceling those plans. We do plan to reschedule the trip. Until then we appreciated a small celebration.

My Dad’s Father’s Day the next day was pretty low key. Hopefully, he enjoyed that too. I gifted him an Amazon gift card so he can buy a few books for his new Amazon Fire that we got for him early in the pandemic crisis. My Dad is the other reader in my family (although you would think it’s Selby 🐶 who is the reader because her kennel she sleeps in is in the room Dad and I have lined with bookshelves)! So, I love to give him books! I am just trying to encourage him to read during the day instead of only at night before bed (because you really are too sleepy right before bed).

A @selbysweetie Conclusion

When I said that my family always inspires me it was implied (to me) that Selby was included in that. However, she inspires me so much and has helped me through my TBI recovery that she gets her very own chapter in my memoir and I have turned pictures of her into my blog post conclusions, here’s one.

Here is Selby lounging on our patio TABLE! When you’re that little and cute you can sit anywhere!

6 thoughts on “Writing My Memoir: An Update

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