Writing between the hours of 9 and 5 is really difficult for me. And it’s taken me six years as a professional, full-time writer to recognize that it’s sort of a problem.
How it has always worked before is that I spent the almighty Designated Working Hours doing all of the writing tasks that are not writing: emailing, scheduling interviews, conducting interviews, editing, researching, invoicing, etc., etc. Actual writing was reserved for the couch, after hours or on the weekends. So that’s what I did.
WARNING: No matter who you are, or what your intentions were when you sat down to write, you will not be the same at the end of your memoir. You will be changed by the writing of your own story. And your story, in turn, will be changed as well.
Writing so deeply and personally about who you have been and what has happened to you changes your perspective on so many things. Perhaps the most impactful of these changes is how you view yourself after the awkward and enlightening experience of crafting the character of yourself in an honest way. This forces us to be (hopefully) more honest than we’re used to being with ourselves.
Writing is the best. But as anyone who writes for a living will tell you, it also can be the worst. The deadlines! The word counts! The interviews that seemed fine at the time but have no decent quotes! Writing as a profession means composing through sleeplessness, idealessness and cleverlessness. It can be monotonous.
These things sometimes distract from the wonder that is the writing process. And is it a truly amazing wonder. Crafting a piece of work, using only brain juice and finger power, that can move people, inspire them, entertain or even change someone, is a sort of miracle. Most weeks I write between seven and ten stories, and believe me, they almost all feel like miracles by the end. This is due to a series of tiny, brilliant moments that happen during the writing process. No matter what kind of -lessness one is writing through, these stages in the process begin to happen, and you’re in it. You’re wowed. You’re part of a miracle.