Reflections on my Life Story Writing Project

It’s been hard getting back in the groove of writing my life story after my trip last week to Baltimore and Richmond. It took a few days for me to catch up on sleep – sleep-deprived writing never looks very good the next day. If I’d stuck with my original schedule of a year a day between August 22 and October 20 – I’d be writing about my 41st year by now. Since I just finished my post about my 25th year this morning, I’m about 16 years behind schedule.

Running behind schedule is a trait that has plagued me most of my life – it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. I’m more perplexed by the dread with which I approach each writing session. I want to accomplish what I set out to do, but it isn’t as much fun as it was when I started. Maybe it’s because the years I’ve been writing about recently weren’t very happy times while I was living them so reliving them by writing about them isn’t much fun either.

In an effort to stay on track, I stopped taking the time to find the pictures and excerpts from other sources that made my earlier posts visually appealing. I thought I could always go back and add photos later (though I probably won’t) and I wanted to get each year written. But I had more fun with the story, and I was happier with the finished product, when I took time to find excerpts from my grandfather’s letters about my early years. It provided an objective (and I think more interesting) account of my life. So I plan to go back to that even though I know it will add time to the process.

I tried to “catch up” by lumping some years together but this morning when I returned to my original format of one year per post, it was easier to write. Looking at the busy month I have ahead of me at work, which includes weekend work events on two out of the next three weekends, I’m not likely to complete my life story by my birthday. But as I mentioned in an earlier post – one of the things I like about myself is my ability to change. And since I made the rules about how I was going to write my life story – I can change them. How’s that for self-empowerment!

Deadlines are helpful so it might be time to revisit an idea from the WordPress U Course, Blogging 201, and create an editorial calendar. Once I do this I’ll have a better idea of how long this life story might take. It will also allow time for my other interests (I haven’t been on Ancestry.com in a couple of months and I’m starting to miss the time I spent researching my ancestors’ stories). So I hope this new schedule doesn’t disappoint anyone but I think it will result in better content. Ahhh… I feel better already.

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