Tuesday, July 1, 2014

micro-memoir challenge: 31 days of bite-sized life

I had the opportunity to listen to two fantastic memoirists speak yesterday and absorbed so much inspiration that it ought to be illegal the talk was free. I won't rehash too much of what they said, but you should visit Shirley and Angela when you get a chance.

The bottom line was this: we are all memoirists, especially bloggers. Part of the problem is that we feel we need some sweeping, drastic events to happen before we should be allowed to tell our stories. Notice the word "allowed" that I used...like there is some gatekeeper to creativity who deems the Angies and Shirlies of the world as worthy of memoir writing and the rest of us as "not ready yet." That's bunk and they'll tell you so.

I struggled with what stories I could share. I'm not really funny when it comes to parenting blogs. Honestly. My kids are too cute for me to be snarky. Not much of a food blogger because HOLY CRAP, the honest to God truth is that I'm a crap cook. What's interesting about me? What stories do I tell people that they actually respond to? That are different from the 8 million other stories floating around out there?

And it hit me sitting in that library conference room. My days as a B-league, underpaid reporter (both now and in the past) are GOLD. I've been paraded with a real live reindeer, my mother, and a toddler through downtown Anchorage. I've gotten lost and driven over the West Virginia line in search of a less-than-spectacular Hops farm and gotten caught peeing on the side of the road because I was so lost. (Last week, folks.)

These are the stories I'm going to tell and I'm going to write a memoir that speaks to people who aren't the Anderson Coopers or Diane Sawyers of the world. (OR whoever the big leaguers are in your business or life). Some of us are living tiny, hilarious lives and they're worth capturing.

That's the idea, anyway.

I have a really nice mentor helping me with an honest-to-goodness book proposal because he thinks there's a chance in hell someone else might think this is funny stuff. But those things take forever, so in the meantime to help me prepare for TWO classes I was chosen to host in the fall on memoir writing (for seniors in a retirement community...awww!) and journaling to unlock creativity (at a local rec center, yay!), I put together a mini challenge for myself.

31 Days of Micro Memoirs. 

No more than 500 words. Capture a scene. A memory. A glimpse into a moment in life and write it down. These will eventually get bigger and become chapters (or parts of chapters), but for now, micro is just fine for me.

This is completely an invention I came up with, like, this morning on the way to work. SO there's no fancy button yet. No blinky. No linky. But if you're bored this month and you want to practice writing tiny little memoirs, please please please join me.

Challenge Recap:

Day 1: It Began With a Firing 
Day 2: Me and Dubya
Day 3: Down in Flames

...happy happy happy...

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