In October I was surfing the internet looking for a creative writing/memoir workshops in my area. I wanted to really start working on my writing but knew I would need some help along the way.
I did not really want to take a 2nd year college course as I would be required to write assignments I am not interested in. This is not to say I may not do it later but at this point in time it is not what I am looking for. I was having no luck until I found a program at the University of British Columbia called The Booming Ground. This is a non-credit- yeah hoo!!!!- writer- mentorship program. You can choose poetry, fiction or non-fiction/memories.
It is a program in which a mentor will work with you one on one, and help guide you with your writing. Hot dam – this was better than what I was looking for! They will work with you to a maximum of 30, 000 words, which is about 5000 words a month. I sent for some information, they sent it to me along with a application form. I filled out the form and they asked for a sample of my writing. So I send it off into cyber space hoping that the universe will deliver it to where it is supposed to be. It does and two weeks later I get confirmation that I have been accepted and they soon let me know who my mentor is.
I sent an e-mail to my mentor explaining my condition that some days I can function, some days I can’t and that it would really help me if she can think outside the box, and that it would be very helpful if she did not mark anything with red ink! Her reply was that she has no problem thinking outside the box and has worked with people who have done memoirs and realizes it can be a very difficult task.
So, my first assignment was to start writing from when I was diagnosed so that’s what I did. She told me not to worry about it as this submission was to allow her to see what kind of writer I am, where my strengths and weakness are, what my writers voice is etc. So this month, off I go to my friends studio, (she has given me space to write)- and I start.
Well, actually it was not that straight forward!!!!
I fretted for three nights about it, wondering how I was going to start, how it would sound, how to do it and wondering what the hell I got myself into.After all these years of talking about it and people telling me I should do it I wondered if I could really do it, and I found excuses not to go to the studio. But eventually I went and started to put words to paper, and last Friday the 23rd I sent in my first submission of 5054 words. Only 850, 000 more to go and my memoir will be done!
It has been a very interesting process. It has made me look back to that time when I thought my life was falling apart. A time where there was much confusion and pain for myself, my family and I thought I was going crazy. It has also reminded me how scary the “first steps” can be.
I think back to the fear and uncertainty I felt when I first started to get help. I didn’t know what the future held for me, and as terrified as I was I knew I needed to listen to my guts, to follow my intuition and step through those doors. After all, my intuition had kept me alive.
At the beginning of this month, I once again listened to my intuition and sat down and started to write. It was not as scary as starting therapy, but I still don’t know what my future holds, if I will get published or if anyone would even want to read my book, but like my therapy, I know this is something I need to do.
All first steps can be scary. It may be our first physical step, the first time we ride a bike on our own, the first time we skate, do public speaking or our first step in getting help to heal.
And yes, the first time I sat down to start to write my memoirs.
Stepping into the unknown can be a scary and terrifying place to be, but unless we take that risk and step into it, we will miss so much. I am glad I took that risk.
I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes that really helped me in the beginning of my healing journey.
Human beings , especially at an early age are amazingly resilient….Errors can be made and errors can be corrected; And tenderness, care and understanding can help bring about new beginnings at any age
I send you all tenderness, care and understanding and wish you all new beginnings.
Be gentle with yourselves.
Those are my thoughts for today
Cheers and be well