Memoir Monday/Too Late Tuesday: Am I being too ambitious?

I have this habit of going full tilt into a project only to realize that part way through the project is too ambitious. I think I did this before the accident but it’s really prevalent now. After last week’s first post on my plans for the year in relation to completing my memoir, I am wondering if I am too ambitious in my plan and if I will burn out and not succeed? I truly hope this isn’t the case because that “Memoir Writing Planner” I developed feels pretty reasonable (I say this now before I have really done much on it). Perhaps I am just panicking to subconsciously try and get myself to back out of this plan? I spend this blog post giving myself a pep talk and explaining how my plans for this month are going. I also include some talk about The Golden Globes and Academy Awards.

Oops! Two weeks in and #MemoirMonday became #TooLateTuesday. (Graphic made by me in Canva.)

Note: If you’re new to my blog, I am working on writing a memoir about recovering from a severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and coma that I experienced in September 2016. Each Monday I focus on a different area of writing my memoir in a weekly blog post I call “#MemoirMonday.” You can read more about my memoir on my dedicated Memoir Monday page.

Since I wrote a huge chunk of my previous iteration of my memoir during Camp NaNoWriMo in April 2019 during ONE MONTH, my year-long writing plan as laid out in my previously shared “Memoir Writing Planner” (see below) felt downright luxurious. So far (in my outline/prose clean up) phase I feel really good about my plan. As long as I stick to it.

The “Memoir Writing Planner” that I shared last week.

I have mapped out the rest of this month for planning or “outline/prose cleanup.” I talk more specifically about that below. After happily mapping out my year-long memoir writing plan and sharing it last week I have wondered if I was being unrealistic in my goals. However, I would rather aim high and fail just short of that then not aim at all and not achieve anything. I am also being very dedicated to my health and working out too. The idea behind that is to ditch my cane once and for all and hopefully get rid of the nighttime restless leg cramps I get every night. It would also be nice to lose weight (when those Facebook memory pictures come up I look at me from 6, 7, 8 years ago with wistful admiration at my trim frame).

These ambitions of mine (completing my memoir and losing weight/getting healthy) may sound like New Year’s Resolutions. Yet, I don’t want to call them that. They are just things I am working on each day. In 2021 I completed a whole year of drawing a daily journal picture in my “Daily Doodle Journal.” And I think I was successful in keeping with that because I didn’t have any expectations. It was just something I started doing and enjoying that eventually had long term benefits (helping with discipline and creativity). Now I do have goals in mind for my memoir and weight loss/health so they are a bit more win or fail than the “Daily Doodle Journal.” However, I do plan to approach them the same way as the doodles: do what feels good and it will pay off.

#MemoirMonday (or #TooLateTuesday) Monthly Focus: Discussion of the Week- Outline

As I promised last week, here is my weekly update on my memoir progress (even though I missed the “Monday” in my #MemoirMonday). I successfully spent some dedicated time going through what I have written and I ended up rereading a lot of it and deciding to keep more than I originally thought. In fact I am keeping a lot and using the rest of this month to map out the chunks that I still need to write (according to my outline). Honestly this has been a really helpful and beneficial part to my memoir writing planner and I look forward to continuing on the path.

On a side note, my parents gave me an annual membership to Masterclass (one of the gifts I recommended in my pop culture gift guide) and I haven’t started watching them yet. However, there are a lot of great ones on writing that I know will help inspire me: Roxanne Gay on writing for social change, Issa Rae Teaches Creating Outside the Lines, David Sedaris Teaches Storytelling and Humor, Shonda Rhimes Teaches Writing for Television, Malcolm Gladwell Teaches Writing, Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling, R.L. Stine Teaches Writing for Young Audiences, Joyce Carol Oates Teaches the Art of the Short Story, Margaret Atwood Teaches Creative Writing, Aaron Sorkin Teaches Screenwriting, Dan Brown Teaches Writing Thrillers, David Mamet Teaches Dramatic Writing, James Patterson Teaches Writing, Judy Blume Teaches Writing, Billy Collins Teaches Reading and Writing Poetry, David Baldacci Teaches Mystery and Thriller Writing, Joy Harjo Teaches Poetic Thinking, Salman Rushdie Teaches Storytelling and Writing, Walter Mosley Teaches Fiction and Storytelling, N.K. Jemisin Teaches Fantasy and Science Fiction Writing, Amy Tan Teaches Fiction, Memory and Imagination

Monthly Feature of the Week: Pop Culture: Golden Globes and Movie Awards Season

I thought I would discuss the Golden Globes for my pop culture feature this week. The nominations were announced weeks ago and the awards ceremony happened unceremoniously on Sunday, January 9, 2022. And due to some controversy surrounding the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (the group that runs the Golden Globes) the Golden Globes awards show wasn’t televised this year (see this CNN article about the controversy). The last several years I have done an Academy Awards ballot leading up to the Oscars. After I realized that the Golden Globes slipped by on Sunday with little notice, I have decided not to put the time in to make my “where to watch the Oscar nominees ballot.” I will still cover and talk about them but I am going to spend the time it takes me putting that ballot together working on my memoir and taking care of myself. Because if I have learned anything these last 5 years living with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) it’s that computer time needs to be managed with care. I can no longer mindlessly be on electronic devices because every second in front of a glowing screen is truly felt.

So instead of me putting in the hours of research on the award contenders, I thought I would just provide a series of links to articles you can check out. Oscar nominations will be announced February 8, 2022 with the ceremony taking place on March 27, 2022. I will update this blog as I watch more of the contenders and read more about them.

Brown 💩 on white snow really shows up so Selby really missed it when Grandpa picked it up (he picks it up frequently, don’t worry)!
We put this cute little hat on her and take her for yummy pup cups!
Selby teaching one of our backyard bunnies to do her signature move.

A Selby Sweetie Conclusion

Pup cup time! Our Dunn Brothers gives a very generous pup cup with a huge milk bone!
It’s good stuff! (Also, how cute is her hat?)
We went to a coffee shop without her 😮 so I made her a homemade pup cup. I think I have a future as a barista!

12 thoughts on “Memoir Monday/Too Late Tuesday: Am I being too ambitious?

  1. I wrote mine already on google docs. I had a plan to do a workshop through New Directions Publishing it’s for writing a book.

    The class was too overwhelming for me but kept writing. 500 words a day was my goal and I set a time and alarm daily and did it no matter what.

    Every day I checked it off I have a first draft of my memoir about lessons learned in life and sobriety. My next goal is to publish it and then start a Memoir since my TBI.

    I have 54k words I need to edit and read and get a publisher.

    You can do it. Set small daily goals. Stick to it. I did it in like 2 months some days I couldn’t stop writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow Jessy! That’s incredible!! That is also really sage advice on setting a daily time to do it and just work on that daily goal. I am working on the daily goal of exercise so daily disciplined writing would be easy for me to add in there. I have 60,000 words but it’s rough and not the structure I want so that’s what I am working on this month.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You have so much! The editing and structure is what’s hard for me and next or get a publisher. I bought a cheap $30 thing from Anna David about writing a book and went off her structure she taught and she’s a writer and Publisher. Anna David Publishing, she was a friends publisher.

        Basically it was starting with the main event which for me was my DUI and then starting from a child and on to progress to now.

        Just attack it in small achievable goals. With exercise and writing. I was set on 30 min a day of exercise and burnt out quick and was put down. So now I’m trying MWF exercise, other days just move my body. Just listen to your body and do what’s best for you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, I don’t want to overdo with either exercise or writing. Tnat’s my tendency now post-TBI. My physical therapist wants me to exercise every other day but I am so motivated to ditch my cane and lose weight! I like your idea of just moving your body on non-exercise days (Selby needs playing with)!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Exactly just a stretch, play with the dog, a short walk around the block with her:) I consider cleaning a non exercise day exercise too since it wipes me out 🤣🤦🏼‍♀️

        Like

  2. I’ve written about half of my memoir about recovery from chronic pain and then got stuck last year. I plan to finish the first draft this year but haven’t mapped it out yet. Good for you to have a clear plan and direction. I’m with you that we should set intentions and do what feels right rather then hard goals with heavy expectations. This is supposed to be fun, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point, this is supposed to be fun but when you have been writing something like a memoir for such a long time it starts to feel like a chore. That’s why I am being more structured with my time this year! Good for you on writing your chronic pain memoir!! Good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

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