Progress on my faith-based memoir has been a bit strange for the last two weeks. I noticed I’ve done less writing and more editing than usual. Up until then, I had been on a roll, making consistent progress and doing a LOT of original writing. I did soft editing at that time only to tie in my logical flow, but it was mostly creation of writing.
In the last two weeks, I was so disappointed because things were so different, though I still don’t know why. As I was rereading the many faith stories I first wrote back in 2012, I reread everything with a fresh eye. To tell you the truth, after I had shelved my writing for so many years and only recently picked it up, I was surprised by what I wrote back then!
A lot of what I wrote in the past are things I had completely forgotten about! My perspective was so different at that time because I had two young children under the age of six. A lot of that was motherhood frustrations coupled with everything else. I had forgotten about the exact nature of what I wrote, but I was able to remember the reasons WHY I wrote what I wrote in the first place.
I remembered I wrote specific blog posts back in 2012 because at that time, I was serious about pursuing a faith book, calling it A Slice of Faith. I made a decision to write my faith book by blogging about it, one post at a time, a technique I had just learned about and was enthusiastic to try. There were many advantages to putting my writing out there in the public domain through something as informal as a blog. People spend so much time on the Internet anyway, I knew it would be a breeze for my blog to be found.
Back then, blogging my book was a terrific social media experiment, but it didn’t really meet my publishing goals. This time around in 2020, I feel like I have a clearer vision for what I want to do and how I want to do it. It’s not always easy for me to express precise language of what it is I’m trying to accomplish, but in some cases, as what has been happening to me in the last two weeks, it has been easier to eliminate dead weight than it has been to create new things.
As it turned out, many of the blog posts I had written were either too soft, too general, or too pretty. In 2012, I did not write clear, concrete terms for my writing goals, so I ended up with a lot of general material that didn’t quite have a unifying structure except for simple faith statements. This time around in 2020, I still haven’t written concrete terms for my book plan, but reflecting on my past writing and clearly eliminating things that didn’t feel strong for me helped me to visualize a better plan.
Thanks to figuring out what doesn’t “feel right” for my faith book right now, I began shaping a strong vision for my book and holding true to it. I made a decision that I want my book to contain true stories of problems that happened to me.
Those problems must be written in such a way that is raw, emotional, and exposes private things that take a lot of courage to write about.
The problem must be about me only, and not be about something that happened to my family. The solution in every case must be faith. Faith must be the glue that holds everything together and makes life worth living.
I’m extremely happy to have clarified my vision and determine that some things from the past were just not strong enough to make the cut.
I also learned that a lot of my blog posts from 2012 were pleasant stories that were also strong and developed beautifully by faith as its central frame. It’s so funny, because that was another thing I forgot I did! I thought for sure I only wrote doom and gloom stories, so this one surprised me the most. As a result, I decided to incorporate good stories as well, to make this a more well-rounded book.
I’m also working towards a huge climactic moment in my book which will be the epitome of the worst thing that could have happened to me. I plan to have that squarely in the middle of my book.
Here is a snapshot of the faith stories I’ve rejected so far.