Last year at this time, an acquaintance of mine, a poet and artist, told me I better hurry up and finish that memoir I was writing because he wanted to read it. He happens to be the father of my landscaper and was helping her with the spring raking in my yard.
I dreaded seeing him this year because I have not written another word since last April.
Before that, I had not written a word since the spring before that.
I have thought about writing. I tried reading what was already written to stimulate me but it only depressed me. Did I really want to write this memoir? Maybe the first go around, dredging up my memories, putting them down on paper, having a good laugh and a few more tears, maybe that was what I wanted all along; a catharsis; bring up the emotions to let them go. Yes, let them go, far, far away, like balloons into the deep blue yonder.
I have often procrastinated over the years but I always had a great excuse that I was too busy just surviving my life to stop and write it all down. Women who write parenting blogs, especially about their special needs kids, must have participating husbands or way more energy that I was born with.
I liken it to buying twenty perfect pencils and sharpening them all perfectly, getting a stack of just the right paper, then next year you buy the same thing because you don’t remember that you started this all before.
Now, it is more expensive, this preparing to write. Maybe I need a writing program or a new computer? Done. Maybe if I write it on paper then read it aloud into a Dragon Dictate microphone, the emotions will flow better from brain to fingers to paper. Should I join a writing group? NaNoWriMo was great for stimulating my creative juices in the direction of a crime novel, but not my memoir. Be Prepared, (as a former Girl Scout I have the right to this phrase, I think); be prepared to write and never actually write, that is my motto.
I went to a conference specifically designed to educate people in my line of work in the tools they would need to get published and write a book. It was very stimulating and depressing at the same time because I found that there is “not a large enough” market for my planned book. They said that I would need at least 1 million potential buyers! 1,000,000!
For a few weeks after the conference I was almost talked into writing a self-help book.
But, I do not want to write a self-help book. I do not care if they sell better and make you (and the publisher and agent) more money.
I did want to write something that could be labeled “Narrative non-fiction”, or “Memoir” with some factual details and perhaps some prescriptions for what might be needed in the future. But, definitely not “10 Ways to make your Autistic Adult child’s life better” or “The 10 things your autistic adult child wishes you knew”.
So here we are in April again, Autism Awareness month, the anniversary of me starting my first blog, and I am back again trying to either write the memoir.