Do you ever have a project that you start ambitiously and then become terrified of midway through, abandon, and cower in the proverbial corner for a decade or two, then drag yourself over to it in the middle of the pandemic and think, maybe I should try this again?
Me too! What are yours?
One of mine is to finish learning how to play the Capricho Arabe. It’s a workout but totally worth it. Check it out if you get the chance. When I finish learning it, I’ll play it for you the next time I see you. So far it’s been twenty years.
Another one of my paused projects is a memoir. I started mine when I was 25. That’s right, I thought I had enough content to book when I was 25, and now it’s waaaaay later. Good luck figuring out what to include in that AND keeping it under a thousand pages.
I’m still back and forth on whether I should even go through with it or not, and there are lots of other, more fun writing forms I want to tackle first: my play (Foxhole), my screenplay (Book Midwife), a short story collection (Plant), others. I don’t have to tell you about them; you already know, they’re in my Stories section on this website.
While I was gathering memoir courage to even re-read my old draft, a motivated writing friend told me about the Alexander Chee course available at The Shipman Agency. I tried to resist enrolling, but it was futile. I had already taken a great poetry class with them, and I had so much FOMO I couldn’t miss out on Alexander Chee. The Alexander Chee. I’m just telling you all about this to be friendly – much like my writing, I don’t get any compensation, and they don’t know who the hell I am. My hopes of Alexander Chee knowing who I was because of this class were dashed by the volume: 400+ other students.
I should have known he was a big deal because when I purchased a Loyalty Bookstore pandemic-episode grab bag, with a request to get me only the most awesome books, they sent a copy of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, by guess who? Yep. Alexander Chee. Looks like everybody knew about him already. A lot of the other people in the class were also famous authors. Famous people and/or great writers tend to know about each other, it seems.
I have one more week to wow them all with my Zoom sitting!
And one more week to figure out the essay writing process, which may or may not help with the memoir writing process. I have a panic plan: memoir poetry chapbook – Au Revoir, Memoir. That’s the title. I’m hoping to beat the lure of false memories by shoving them all into poems.
Wish me luck!