I am going to include this in our family memoir. Maybe those reading this here on my blog will also enjoy learning more about these things that make it easier for me to sit down, put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard as I tell you my story.
“A practice is an act that helps you to engage with the process.”
(Vinita Wright, The Soul Tells A Story)
Most Important: Our Family Photo:
You are why I am focusing on Memoir Writing. If what I write does not speak to you, it won’t matter if it speaks to others. You are the precious people God has given to me. To do the work of capturing stories and lessons and insights to share with you, I sit at my desk with five key elements. This is how I write.
Five Key Elements:
A Mug, a Candle, a Glass Heart, a Journal and a Pen with a Message.
A Mug: The coffee mug, cracked, but still usable, reminds me WHY I write. Etched into the pottery are the words from Psalm 78:6 “ . . . that the next generation may know.” (See Why I Write – click HERE)
A Candle: Striking the match and lighting this candle is my way of inviting the Holy Spirit into my writing process, for I see my writing for you as collaboration with God. My candle of choice is a crackling, Woodwick Candle® Fireside Scent. (I wish I could add a “scratch and sniff” feature here.) I bought my first one in Red Lodge, Montana and think of them as Montana candles. Much of my blog writing and memoir project is shaped by the Nov. 8, 2005 event in the Montana wilderness. The friendly cracking sound and the scent say “Write, so others will know what happened here and what happened to you as a result.”
A Glass Heart: A few years ago, my friend Karen and I each made a glass heart at Patterson Glassworks as a celebration of our friendship. This heart reminds me to write from my heart. I also remember whose who stood by me during a dark time in my life.
A Journal: Writing first drafts by hand quiets the inner censor and keeps me from editing as I go. It keeps my ADHD mind going somewhat in a linear fashion because it slows me down. Rabbit trail thoughts become starred items in the margin for safe keeping and future reference. Thinking without writing sends me in endless circles.
Inserted in the front of my journal is a message with these words from a friend, to remind me of my calling: “I see you as a courageous writer . . . courageous because you are . . . Writer because you love to write. It is part of who God has made you to be. You are learning to tell and honor your story.”
I will never forget Fall 2012, wrestling with the decision to retire from my 25 year career with a direct sales company. I spent weeks agonizing about this, wondering what I should do when, in one day, a dear friend and later that day, my counselor asked, “What do you want to do?” I could only answer softly, tears in my eyes, “I want to write.”
That evening, telling your dad about it, I looked down at the pen I had been twirling around in my hand. And there they were, the words: “Pursue YOUR Passion.” I didn’t know what to say, so we kept talking. Finally, holding out the pen to him, I said, “Look.” He looked at me and said “I think you know.” I did.
This pen resided on my kitchen window sill the next two years after retirement, as life took a different turn and writing took a back seat. Now the pen is on my desk.
With the photo of you, my precious family in front of me, reminding who I’m writing for, and these five elements close at hand to help me stay focused and centered, I begin putting down the words, one after another.
Linking up with Lisha Epperson and Give Me Grace Community (following links like this took me to blogs where I ended up making friends