Discovery and Recovery

Has your past ever blindsighted you? Memories you had buried or pushed aside appear front and center. That happened to me this week while working on my book that is not all my story but parts of my story. To determine what I want to include and what I do not, I have revisited my past more than I intended. The section I am working on is Claiming the Past. I intended general advice from the other six songwriters and me. Since I am the author, more of what I have claimed from my past needs to be included than from the other six.

Claiming involves an honest inventory of any memory that makes you uncomfortable. I am not advising on how to deal with that discomfort beyond acknowledging it. Some memories touched sorrow I did realize I was holding on to. I do not want to erase those memories or deny the sorrow; I want to see them for what were and are. In a first draft, an author writes quickly knowing she will leave out and add in the next edits. The book is complex. I do not think I would ever finish it by logically and rationally chosing what to include and what to include. In attempting to write about some years and some experiences, I have stopped and moved on to something else because one memory triggered other memories.

I have written over 10,000 words in twelve days. I am claiming my past. I do not know how much of it I will share. Perhaps not even half of what I have written. Once a memory is shared to more than the people involved, it is not longer personal. Some of mine are precious to me. Some are painful. As I write, I am remembering more of both.

My projected published date was late May. I think my rough draft will be finished by projected time od January 10, but the edits will take longer than anticipated. I am okay with that as long as I write every day and meet my weekly word count goal.

Do not attempt this at home without supervision, especially if you have bipolar disorder and have a hard time with timelines.

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