Sometimes it feels like all I write is my memoir (and this blog about the memoir) and I am a much more layered writer than just one genre, one format, one style, one topic (not that focusing on one genre, format, style and topic is bad, it’s just not ME). This week I had in mind that I would work on two essays. One I am writing for a particular website and the other I am writing with hopes of submitting to various places. During my Wednesday and Thursday “write-in” writing groups on Zoom (through Meet Up) I made excellent progress on both essays.
After a challenging week last week filled with new and confusing TBI symptoms my confidence wasn’t high. Really I shouldn’t have succeeded with my essays after how draining I found last week. And yet my writer brain kicked in and it felt great. (I am so grateful my crazy writer brain survived the TBI!) I would like to share a little more about those essays (although I won’t share them on this blog and just link to them when they are “published”). I also wrote a mini essay for this blog that I will share here today. Keep reading for a more “Essay Moment” of my weekly #MemoirMoment.
After feeling recharged by my essay writing I decided to evaluate why writing stand alone creative nonfiction essays was so reinvigerating. I came up with the following reasons (also listed above in the graphic I made.
Why I need to write more (than just) my memoir:
- Generate Content Ideas For My Memoir: I plan to take the idea from one of these essays and expanding on it and including it in my memoir. I am writing about “The Faulty Librarian” concept that I shared in an earlier blog post. I was telling my psychologist about it and he smiled broadly and said “Oh, another great Laura analogy!” He meant it as a compliment and I certainly took it that way because I am proud of my little brain (even if it’s managed by a Faulty Librarian)! I have gotten out of the habit of writing every morning in a notebook for 15-20 minutes (I plan to start this habit again) but when I was doing these regular morning writing sessions I was writing mini essays really that I expanded once I added them to my memoir.
- Diversifying My Creativity Helps Me Generate/Create More: Just as I have learned through my various techniques to generate creativity (12 Months of Stories, Creativity For Days and the Daily Doodle), I respond well to all forms of creativity and anything that I do creatively really helps my writing.
- Balance My Creativity: In everything you need balance and I certainly don’t want to wear myself out. So the idea that I expand my writing to more than just my memoir will help me not get burnt out (hopefully).
- Completing Something: It’s challenging working on a long project like my memoir when I have a horrible track record of completing creative projects. Completing something smaller like these two essays should help me increase my confidence.
- Getting My Writing Out There (hopefully): The more blogs of fellow writers I follow and the more fellow aspiring published authors that I meet (through my virtual writing groups) the more I realize that finishing writing my memoir is only a small portion of what I need to do to get my writing out there. Another important aspect is expanding my reach and audience.
Monthly Feature of the Week: Essay: Steel Trap
I often catch myself saying (usually to my parents who I live with) “Steel Trap!” as I point emphatically to my brain after I have remembered a fact (usually useless trivia). I am saying proudly that my brain even though its weathered injuries and trauma is still relatively effective at holding onto information just like a steel trap relentlessly holds onto anything that gets in its clutches.
I say this phrase as I marvel at the resilience of the human brain. I just hope whoever I say it to (my parents) doesn’t then think of what could have happened to my supposed steel trap of a brain if the TBI was any different. I however am choosing not to dwell on the what-ifs and what-could-have-beens and am instead trying to just focus on the positivity surrounding this particular brain experience. As a brain injury survivor it’s important to celebrate all the wins (no matter how small).
A Selby Sweetie Conclusion
A gif I made of a Live Photo of the bubble chasing!