Writing a memoir takes a special kind of focus which, in my experience, is best exercised by a continuous sprint of uninterrupted time.
Here’s how that goes for me: It doesn’t.
Interruptions are a part of everyone’s life. Navigating around those interruptions is where the talented succeed…and I question whether I can count myself among those who manage to get their stories written despite interruptions.
Yes, I question my talent.
I remember when I first started writing this memoir. The voice of the little girl (me in 1976) started to make itself heard one day several years ago. If I remember correctly, I sat down at the laptop and opened a Word document and just started typing. My mom was over for dinner, likely because she had taken my daughter to her gymnastics class. This was their thing they did together, once a week, and afterwards, all of us would have dinner together. Mom got to see her grandchildren, share in an activity with one of them, enjoy a family meal, and fill her heart with love, noise and chaos. That is, if the boys were around. Often, they were getting ready, or had already left for hockey practice.
That evening, I remember feeling like I was floating. It’s difficult to put into words…the little girl’s voice inside my head wanted to come out and since I had access to my laptop (and adult supervision over my younger child) I just sat down and wrote the words as I heard them in my head.
That’s how it begins, this writing thing, doesn’t it. The words want to come out and so I let them out.
I wrote for days after that evening. I was able to tune out everything and just type like a maniac. I didn’t see or hear anything else and barely registered what needed to be done. Something inside me propelled me forward, kept me going. The kids, the family in general, they weren’t going to starve. Let them figure it out, I told myself. Let me get the words out.
When I did write all the words, I printed the sheets off, stapled them together, and handed them out to various family members to read and comment on. Including the youngest who was only about 6 or 7 at the time.
I look back at that time and think, why was I able to do it then, write while in deep focus? And why am I unable to do it now?
There is something inside me that’s blocking me.
And yet, this need to want to hear the voice of the little girl inside my head is continuous. It never dies down completely, but rather, it feels like it’s buried beneath some debris.
I listen closely, but she’s quiet, the little girl with the enormous headache.
What is blocking me? And why?