Distilling the Memoir

I have a memoir that I began working on so many years ago that I’m not sure when exactly it began. I do know that I haven’t worked on it for over a year. But it calls to me every now and then and I have been hearing its voice recently, calling me to mend it.

I realise that right now, I have lavender, but what I really need is the essential oil. I need to distill the words—-steam them open to release their fragrant workings and healing properties. Right now, the words are pretty, waving in the breeze and showing their colours. But they are a little weed infested and we are held back from reaching the richness of the scent within. img_0348 

A memoir is a difficult thing. For me, it is the  most challenging of all the genres of work I have begun and finished. More than any other form of writing, it is terribly difficult to gain perspective on something that is so personal. And it involves so much going back rather than moving forward. 

But the bees are buzzing around my words, spreading pollen and helping my little flowers to grow—-hopefully into something beautiful.


5 comments on “Distilling the Memoir

  1. chrisbongers says:

    What a beautiful piece to have waft my way. Thanks Jo and enjoy your gardening 🙂

  2. I agree that Memoirs are the most difficult genre to write. Getting perspective is the most challenging thing.

    I’ve been working on mine now for three years, and today, at last received a very positive appraisal from an Editor. Now waiting feedback from 2 Readers.

    Good luck with your Memoir, hope you continue to distill the pure essence of your personal story.

  3. Hi Joanne,

    This is a beautiful piece. I journal each day and quite often end up tripping down memory lane. I think my past calls when it needs to be heard and when it falls onto the paper, it is like you say- sometimes full of colour and scent and other times riddled with weed. But like any garden, the beauty must rise through dirt in order to be seen.
    Sounds like yours is well and truly flowering. It was great racing alongside you tonight in the AWM online race. Hope to see you again.



    • Joanne says:

      Hey Lynn

      I had such great fun at the writing race! It actually gave me freedom during the day to get on and do other things because I kept thinking ‘it’s okay… I’m writing tonight’. I’ll definitely be heading back for more! Although… I was so wired up that I slept really badly last night!!

  4. I know what you mean. Tuesday nights I go to bed and my head is abuzz with new thoughts and directions for my book to travel and explore. I am a shift worker so I make sure I have a late shift on Wednesdays to compensate for what I know will be a late night of waking often and jotting or recording what springs to mind in the dark. ( I keep a digital recorder by my bed for those nights when I don’t want to wake and physically write stuff down. )

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