May is motherhood memoir month

Untangling the Mess

First drafts are messy. We’ve all heard that, but I always think no draft can be as messy as mine. Given enough time, I will restart and restate parts of the story, losing track of what I already wrote. I’ll rethink it until the story swirls around and leaves my head spinning.

Finally I have to print it and cross out areas, bracket and draw arrows to new places, cut and paste, with scissors and tape, old school. Actually, I start with my journal, so lots of scratching there too. I wonder how it will ever come together.

But if I stay with it, like the bucking horses my mother used to put me on, it finally calms down and becomes something cohesive and wonderful- a great ride, a story readers can inhabit.

I live for that. Believe in it. Believing keeps me going. Writing is an act of faith.

Today I remembered that I drew a mind map when I was in grad school working on my thesis. I’m a visual person and the map helped me find my way, especially when I left my work for a period of time. So today I started a map for the memoir I’m writing. I’m still in the first stages of the first draft, but I needed to untangle the mess enough to know what have I have so far.

Putting the main ideas on a poster with pics helps my mind and writing stay focused

Here’s the one from my thesis. I’ll show you the one for the memoir when I get it further along.

When you’re writing, what helps you untangle the messy first draft?

May 1 (tomorrow) begins MaMoMeMo- May is (Motherhood) Memoir Month. I’m committing to getting my first draft finished this month. And that feels scary. But I’m pushing past fear and asking you to write along with me. I’ll post about my progress, along with prompts and tips. Let’s help each other on this journey. It’s all for fun and support- nothing to buy. Message me if you’re interested.

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