It is hard to sit down and write. I’ve spent countless years building up this dream that when it comes time to actually making it happen I freeze. I think about all the things I don’t know about writing and how if I just read one more book about writing I’ll be golden.
I think about writing and the stories I want to tell and get so excited to sit down and write. But then, when I finally do carve out the time all I can think about is how unqualified I am to write. It sounds absurd, I mean, I’m writing this right now and putting words down does not require a degree or special training.
I’m tackling a lot of fears this year. From finally seeking treatment for PTSD to even writing more here. I’m taking things one day at a time (something you’ll hear me saying a lot no matter where you might run into me!) and that’s all I can do.
I’ve been working on the structure I want to use for my fiction project (working title: Demon Letters) and I hope to get that outlined in-depth this month.
My nonfiction project is a bit more involved. A few years ago I came across hundreds of my grandpa’s WWII letters. It looks like he saved nearly every piece of correspondence he received and his wife and mom, my great-grandmother, did the same. I have nearly a thousand letters going back and forth between grandpa and various family members. It is an incredible find and a daunting undertaking.
I met with a special collections specialist at my alma mater to see how best to go through the letters. Based on her guidance I’ve opened over seven hundred letters so far but we keep finding letters stashed away in places on the family farm and I have at least three banker boxes full to the brim waiting for me.
Originally, I wasn’t going to read any letter. I wanted to wait until I’d opened, sorted, scanned, and transcribed them all. But holy hell there are so many! At my current rate it’d be years before I was able to start digging into the content of the letters. I have snuck in reading maybe half a dozen letters while working and I know enough to know I don’t want to wait years to read more.
I decided instead I’m going to focus on simply opening them all and sorting chronologically so I can follow the story. From there I’ll be able to find the seeds I want to grow into something more and build into a nonfiction proposal.
All the above boils down to the following goals for this month:
Demon Letters: Complete outline
WWII Letters: Finish opening all letters