Back at Keyboard

My extended break from this blog lasted longer than anticipated, but I'm back at the keyboard. I am working on the new WordPress version, but that’s turning into a more complex project that I’d envisioned. I like WordPress so much that I want to use it for my whole website, and I have not yet discovered how to set everything up “behind a curtain” and then flip a switch to swap the old for the new.

Meanwhile, dozens of juicy blog topics have come and gone... so we’ll continue here for now and I’ll make the switch very soon.

This experience of working on the WordPress installation, with the alteration between intense focus and interruptions, and need to loop out for more research, is a sort of metaphor for amy writing project — maybe for life in general. I’m thinking back to the year I spent writing my master’s thesis. I chose a complex topic: Perceived Risk of Nuclear Power. That’s an odd topic for someone seeking  a degree in counseling psychology, but we all knew by then that I was not going to pursue a career as a therapist. My off-beat combination of two hot topics was a good one. It eventually garnered me the newly minted Distinguished Thesis Award, much to the glee of the department and my advisors.

I was a returning student with three young children and other time-consuming commitments. I lived 100 miles from campus and took classes in my local community. Life often intervened to keep me away from my research and writing for weeks at a time. Each time I went back to my desk, it took me considerable time to review past work and “get back in the groove.” How I wished I could simply sit down and bang it out., without interruption.

Today the same situation arises with the transition to WordPress and also with my Los Alamos Girlhood memoir. Life keeps intervening. Perhaps the one thing that ensures I keep tapping away on the memoir is my reliance on a blog about that project.  I have a growing list of followers now, and don’t want to embarrass myself by going too long between posts. That means I have to write something, reflect on what I’ve written, and blog about that.

You can find any number of ways to maintain or manage momentum on a writing project. Partly it depends on your personal writing style, a topic I discuss in detail in The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing. Probably the most powerful and effective is to use other people as accountability props, and writing groups and classes are especially helpful. 

One writing group you can participate in without leaving home is the Life Writers Forum YahooGroup. You can use this lively group to report in about projects and get group input to resolve snags or anything related to life writing. It's a rich source of new ideas. Join the group by entering your e-mail address in the form in the left sidebar or click over to the group homepage. You'll get the most out of the group if you participate in the discussions, but lurkers are also welcome.

Write now: write a journal entry on your writing style and how to keep your project flowing.


Pat's Place said...

Whew! I was wondering what had happened to my writing and you explained it all: LIFE intervened! So many things, so many changes in the past year have side-lined my writing efforts--and also my painting efforts. Guess I just accept that and go on--wherever it leads me!

Sharon Lippincott said...


Thanks for noticing the absence. When your workspace is under reconstruction, you take a break. In a few months you'll be settled back in, able to breathe, and that's the time to the fingers flying again, with ink or paint.