What is the world of your book?

What is the world of your book? Celia asks during our first consultation. I’m writing a memoir. Last October I set a goal to complete the first draft by the end of the 2022 calendar year (there were tempting incentives offered by another professional memoir editor). Goal setting has always worked for me as a counterforce to procrastination. Even though it took me until February 2023 to write the last word of the epigraph, just aiming for the finish line made all the difference in motivating myself to persist until I’d accomplished this goal.

Once I’d tucked the 73-page first draft into its Google Drive folder, I took a breather from even thinking about the memoir. I needed it—not only because of the intense pace I’d kept up for the previous four months, but because a case of Covid finally sent me to bed for a handful of days. Just when I’d recovered enough to have my first rescheduled consultation with this talented editor, Covid knocked me down again—this time the “rebound” type, apparently a common side effect of the drug Paxlovid, otherwise an effective and efficient treatment for Covid, particularly for “seniors” like me. Back to bed I went, fatigued once again by this bullying virus, and Celia kindly agreed to reschedule our meeting for a third time.

When she and I finally met on Zoom last week, I’d recovered and diligently prepared for our discussion by reading and rereading her thorough and insightful impressions and critiques of my first draft. I was awestruck by Celia’s deep understanding of my premise, or “argument” in the lingo of the author of “The Memoir Project,” Marion Roach Smith. Celia’s suggestions for strengthening and refocusing this argument—basically to restructure the narrative arc—made excellent sense. Was I excited and intimidated all at once? Yes, indeed! 

Right now, I’m taking another (hopefully brief) break before diving back in—I’ve got seedlings to start indoors, pansies to pot for my front stoop, and spring-cleaning chores long overdue. I’ve got two new goals–to dramatically shift the axis of my memoir’s so-called realm, and to jettison my self-created pressure and fear, while at the same time holding onto my excitement and curiosity for the task at hand.

2 thoughts on “What is the world of your book?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: