September air has a quality to it calling for time spent at the desk. It is not too cold or hot. The light falling in from the window hovers around me and makes me feel like I am at the beach looking out on the ocean after a refreshing swim in the water.
After a long summer, I am ready to start again. If you are also eager to get ready for September you can get instant access to a monthly calendar PDF printable by clicking Download under the photo below.
I love beginnings. And this September I begin going back to university, while at the same time making time for writing the memoir A Double Strawberry. I love the back-to-school vibe of it all. However, I struggle to let myself be a beginner.
So in the spirit of September, this blog post dives into the concept of embracing a beginner's mindset.
I have second-guessed myself on several occasions about my decision to write a memoir. Is it self-indulgent, is it worth the effort, does it get boring to sit with my story day in and day out? Can I at all do it? Especially with studying and working at the same time and being the mother of a three-year-old.
When self-doubt creeps in it, is easy to put the desire to write on the backburner. Because the theme of my memoir is loss and grieving, I can also become afraid to get caught in a downward spiral of energy. Then I know it is time to go back to a beginner's mindset.
I do this by letting myself be curious again and asking why I want to write my memoir.
I know that the desire for writing this memoir originated from a place of love so I have to reconnect with this. When I do this, there is joy even in the heavy stuff.
I love learning the craft of writing a memoir while writing the story.
I love that I have the tools of writing to heal.
I love the working titles I have assigned to it.
I love the peace it brings to my chest.
I love that it reminds me to reconnect to my heart by having a strong back, a soft front, and an open heart.
I love the idea my daughter can read it when she gets older.
I get to read memoirs.
It brings me joy to sit by the candlelight and write.
It brings me joy that writing on the laptop fastens the pace.
It brings me joy to tweak writing advice to help me write a memoir.
It brings me joy to reread old journal entries.
It brings me joy to put my hand on my heart before I write.
When I reconnect to my why it is easier for me to begin writing.
Because I love beginnings the first days of writing can feel easy but soon it can feel like I lack clarity and brain fog sets in. Then I asked what would writing a memoir look like if it was easy. And to answer the question I make a list of why it felt easy in the beginning.
I focused on my daily word count of 750 words.
I went for a walk and came up with two new chapter titles - Behind the Blue Butterfly Door and The Wrong Kind of Collie.
I focused on one writing advice
I focused on one aspect of craft - This week it was the theme of authenticity
I made a list of what to focus on later on for example the last chapter - The Inflatable Unicorn - this is not a saving device.
Ultimately it all came down to setting up a realistic writing routine, putting up a structure for nurturing the story and remembering self-care.
With this in place, I can begin the work of giving a recount of my physical and emotional journey toward being able to tell the tale. This in itself is not easy but deeply meaningful. Showing up makes me want to write every day because with the strong back, soft front, and the open heart of a beginner September feels like a fresh start.
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