No, I’m not talking about fabricating sections of my memoir to make it more interesting. What I mean by “it’s time for fiction” is that I am tired of writing about myself. It’s time to take a break from the old memoir and write some short stories.
I explain what I mean in this writing update/hissy fit! (Since I missed #MemoirMonday and even blew past #TooLateTuesday, I was going to call this #WhateverWednesday… because I love catchy alliteration and hashtags but I missed Wednesday! So now we’re back to #TBIthursday for this week).
I had an idea for a short story after the wonderful actress Betty White died at the end of 2021. White was only a few weeks away from her 100th Birthday when she died. I’m not entirely sure why inspiration struck me to write a short story inspired by Betty White but it did. So I wrote a compact little short story entitled “Spoken For” that I plan to share with my writing group in our February Open Mic (for Valentine’s Day). Betty White doesn’t actually make an appearance in the story (she is just mentioned). I didn’t write this story because I am a super fan of Betty White (although I love her and have probably seen every episode of “The Golden Girls” multiple times). Something about her story (and specifically her relationship and devotion to her husband Allen Ludden) struck a chord and inspired an idea and therefore I just had to write a short story.
I started this blog in January 2018 by writing a short story a month (I called this blog “12 Months of Stories” then and didn’t share the stories but chronicled my writing of each story. You can read more about that time in my blog here). After the 12 months were done I really didn’t write too many short stories. However, my latest story has given me the much needed pep in my step that I needed as I move into the next few months of heavily writing my memoir (see below for more about my memoir). I think I have figured out that I’m not just a fiction or nonfiction writer who lives and dies by one style of writing. This boost I got from writing a short story shows me that I am a writer who enjoys writing many styles.
Monthly Feature of The Week: A Writing Update
Truthfully this whole post is a writing update. However, I did want to share some resources I found that have given me a boost of confidence in my memoir writing planner for the year and my outline for my memoir. “The Write Practice” is a blog I subscribe to because it always has helpful tips. In this post Joe Bunting (who writes The Write Practice blog) shares some great memoir writing tips. (I really do feel like I am in good shape as I head into the next four months of memoir writing.) As I head into writing, I am making my (check) list and checking it twice so this article with a Memoir Check List offers great and timely tips. Here’s Mary Karr’s checklist (a memoirist whose first memoir I read and reviewed for this blog). I love her suggestions because she brings in the sights and sounds of your memory to help you write.
Fundamentally all these articles are asking you what your story is and why you’re telling it. One of my taglines for this blog is “writing my brain injury story” and the other is “when my life almost stopped it had really just begun.” We’ll see if those change as I get started.
#MemoirMonday Monthly Focus: Discussion of the Week- Outline
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 (or really just each week) 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.
I don’t have much longer of my “January: outline clean up” left. And by that I mean that I don’t have much more of the month left but the task still needs to be completed. As I shared previously, the next step is writing the first section of my memoir (I have February and March slated for that). I still plan on keeping on and keeping driven!