Happy New Year, fellow writers and bloggers! Believing in yourself is what life’s all about, isn’t it? Whether you are a college student struggling with classes or a writer struggling with a manuscript, you need to believe you can do it. You need to take the chance and at least try. Otherwise, you’ve already failed.
Is it easy to truly believe in yourself? No. At least it’s not for me. I can’t seem to get out of my own head. Insidious thoughts keep voicing their ugly opinions. In other words, it’s easier for me to help my children think positively and help fellow writers find the point of their manuscripts than it is for me to commit to a point for my college memoir and move forward with the manuscript. You see, I’m not trapped inside other people’s heads, only my own. I can hammer away at their negative thoughts from the outside, offering positivity, focusing on the good rather than the bad. I don’t have to live in their thoughts.
This college memoir is my first attempt at a book-length manuscript. I have a first draft that is more a summary of what happened during my college experience rather than a memoir story with a “because of this, the next thing happens” trajectory.
Even though this is a book-length manuscript, I’m trying to break down the writing process as I do in my short story writing. Do you break down a difficult project into smaller pieces to be able to move forward?
Let me answer a few questions for the memoir project. Please offer any insight you may have as this truly helps me to move forward.
The main goal of the protagonist in the college memoir story is to help her special needs daughter, her oldest. Victoria needs to find the courage to believe in herself and her abilities enough to complete a college degree as a nontraditional student, a mother of 5, because this is the only way she thinks she can truly assist her daughter, and by extension her other children.
The main conflict: Abandoning her own derogatory thoughts about her abilities, built through her backstory, and finding the foundation and time needed to be able to reach her goal of an undergrad degree, thereby demonstrating to her children how to succeed.
The premise of the story[I hope] is that determination will overcome all obstacles.
Why does it matter that this story is told?
People need to see that it’s never too late to embark on a dream, to commit to attempting something that scares you to death, to finally learn to believe in yourself. I hope to inspire others.
I need to take baby steps and begin telling the journey again. I wish you all a healthy and successful 2019. Thanks for reading!
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37 thoughts on “Let 2019 Be the Year You Believe in Yourself #AuthorToolboxBlogHop”
The character and story steps are the same no matter what, aren't they?
Your approach is really interesting. It sounds a little like what I did with my first book, which was memoir-adjacent, based on things that happened to me in college, but transposed into a high school setting. I'm curious about how you plan to lay out the trajectory of your story, pull out the items you want to highlight.
I found breaking the novel down into five big plot altering moments helps me plot the flow of my lengthier manuscripts. I also follow a percent as to when each one should happen in the book to get to the climax and resolution. I wish you luck Victoria 🙂
I find that when we put too much pressure on ourselves, progress is difficult. With my memoir, I didn’t break the project into smaller projects, I just wrote the whole thing and edited parts out of it in the second and third draft, but haven’t done major rewriting yet. But, I have to say, I put much less thought and structure in the book than you, so it might not get anywhere in terms of publishing, until I follow the “rules of memoir” more. All that being said, I do take baby steps in the way that I think and act upon “one day at a time”. You will get there, Victoria!
Yes sir! It's just in memoir; the experiences you are telling are real. In memoir, the writer selects the scenes and people from her life in order to tell a story to the reader of her experiences.
It's always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing, Alex. Enjoy your New Year!
And that's where I am, Raimey, finding the shape of the memoir story, the scenes to include telling that memoir story. I know what happened. I have a first draft of all the details. I need to find the "story" I'm telling. I have a good idea of the emotion at play. I need to truly write forward, scene by scene by scene, and hone my point.
I'll keep you posted via my Adventures in Writing blog. Thank you so much for sharing your insight on Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your New Year!
Thank you so much for sharing your insight here at Adventures in Writing, Erika. I truly appreciate it. Yes, I like to break even my short stories into 3 major movements in the manuscript. I do believe writers need some sort of planning–especially for longer pieces. Otherwise, they could be writing all over the place. I think planning gives us focus.
Thanks again for your pithy advice at Adventures in Writing, Erika. All best in the New Year!
Boy is that true, Liesbet! I've got to relax. My husband and children keep telling me this, too.
That first draft of my college memoir that is more a summary of what happened, I edited and edited and edited until I finally realized that it's my college journey–yes–but not really a story with a beginning, middle, and end.
Liesbet, your memoir [I think] could be a collection of essays about life and love on the seven seas, using the themes you've talked about on your blog. Your character grows as you learn to love both the sea [sailing] and your companion [Mark]. What do you think?
It's always a pleasure finding your insight here at Adventures in Writing, Liesbet. Enjoy your New Year!
Your idea about my character sounds pretty good. Right now it evolves (matures) from wanting it all and craving freedom and adventure in the beginning, to realizing that life is about more than "selfish pursuits". 🙂
That's a great premise, Liesbet! That can be dramatized through scenes of your adventure on the sailboat. No kidding! All the luck with this memoir. I'm keeping up with your progress from your blog. And always, thanks so much for sharing your insight and knowledge on Adventures in Writing. All the best to you in 2019!
When self talk becomes cruel, I stop and treat myself as if I'm my own best friend. I am kind. I choose my words carefully. I'm supportive. And if I need a kick in the butt, I'm not shy about that either.
Best friends don't last long if they are mean.
Anna from elements of emaginette
I think part of being able to believe in ourselves is to have a plan. It sounds like you have a good plan and a great list of reasons to continue and finish your project.
Writing is so much more difficult than it sounds, innit? You sound pretty organized, Victoria.
A friend of mine said to me (on the subject of me thinking the world would end if I made a mistake or put something into cyberspace that wasn't great), "Is that true, though? Like, is it really, really true? Ask yourself that, and don't be dumb." It was a funny way of saying, "Don't get in your own way!" I loved it. Really helped with what you describe.
I won't listen to cruel talk either, Anna. And I tell my children that they should never listen to cruelty. Creativity is stifled by a "this is terrible" or "this isn't good enough to be published" mentality. It is extremely tough for a writer to get out of her own head and thoughts.
You offer wonderful insight here on Adventures in Writing, Anna. People, especially writers or creatives, need to surround themselves with positive people. Negativity can stop a project cold. But of course, creatives need to have others read their work to be sure everything that is in the writers mind is in fact on the page.
However, no friend should last long if she is mean to you. Thanks so much for sharing your insight here at Adventures in Writing. All best to you in 2019.
Thank you so much for your kind words, Susan. I truly appreciate them. I agree. Planning is key to the completion of any project.
Thank you so much for visiting Adventures in Writing and leaving a note. All best to you in 2019!
Absolutely, Jacqui! Thank you very much for your vote of confidence. It really helps me move forward. And thanks for stopping by Adventures in Writing and leaving a comment. It's greatly appreciated. All best to you in 2019!
"People need to see that it’s never too late to embark on a dream, to commit to attempting something that scares you to death, to finally learn to believe in yourself."
This is a universal, timeless truth. You are already inspiring others with the journey you are on.
Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, Caroline! Oh my gosh! This is treasure. Thank you so much for this insight. That's the problem. I am in my own way. Seriously, this insight is precious.
Thank you so much for offering this treasure to me and the readers of Adventures in Writing. I'm sure we could all really use this. Please stop by again!
Thank you so much for your kind words, Lee. I so need to hear this. I truly appreciate your taking the time to visit Adventures in Writing, read my post, and leave this encouragement. It means the world to me. All the best in 2019!
I've often found following our own advice is one of the hardest things to do, especially when it comes to being positive about ourselves and our work. I wish you all the best with your memoir.
"you need to believe you can do it. You need to take the chance and at least try. Otherwise, you’ve already failed." Love that!
Have you tried an Angst Jar? According to DIY MFA thinking (love the book), you can write down the things that bother you about writing, the things that stop you from writing, and put them in a jar/box/whatever that you call your Angst Jar — that way you can get to work without worrying about that voice in your head telling you that you aren't good enough. It works 😉
I hope you have a successful 2019:-)
Ronel visiting on Author Toolbox day Things Every #Authorpreneur Should Know for 2019 #AuthorToolboxBlogHop
Great goal for this year, and a good reminder to keep looking forward! Thanks for sharing and good luck with your project. 🙂
Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing! Thank you so much for this insight. Following our own advice or even our own understanding of story is very difficult for writers to actually do. I think it's because emotion gets in the way. We–or anyone–can't get out of our own mindset or thoughts.
Thank you so much for sharing your insight on Adventures and Writing. And thank you for your good wishes. They are truly needed. Please visit again! All the best to you in the New Year!
Thank you for your kind words on Adventures in Writing, Ronel. I truly appreciate them.
An Angst Jar…hmm…what a great idea. I'll give it a try. Thank you so much for sharing this insight on Adventures in Writing. I hope you have a successful 2019, too!
Thanks for your kind words, Charity. I need the encouragement. We should always look forward in order to move ahead. However, we keep grounded by our past experiences.
Thank you so much for visiting Adventues in Writing and leaving a comment. It's greatly appreciated. All best to you in 2019!
I rely on feedback from fellow writers I trust to give sincere constructive help on any, especially my novel's, manuscript. Just being with another writer and talking about a project inspires me to keep going. Again, good luck with your memoir.
Thank you so much, Dawn, for sharing your insight here at Adventures in Writing. It's truly appreciated. I believe all writers need feedback on their manuscripts to be sure that what's in their mind is actually on the page. The key word in your comment is "trust." A writer must trust her critique partner to offer sound advice for her manuscript. And yes, I believe that surrounding oneself in a community of writers does help a writer move forward with a project.
Thanks for your kind words here at Adventures in Writing. All best to you in 2019!
This is a really interesting approach! Thank you for sharing.
Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing! Thank you so much for your note. I truly appreciate your kind words. Please stop by again! Have a great week, Gina!
Hi Victoria – I admire you for doing what you're doing – and at least you've started before you've forgotten … the blogging world certainly helps with remembering things and having them there for the future. I'm around – so will be seeing you – cheers Hilary
Its so great that you decided to write your memoir. It would definitely bring hope and inspiration to other people who read it.
All the best!
Hello and welcome back to Adventures in Writing, Hilary! It's so good to hear from you. I hope you are all settled now.
Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm still scared, though. I've just sent in my first 20 pages to the editor. Here's hoping I'm on the right track. Thanks again for your note here at Adventures in Writing. Have a great weekend!
Thank you so much, Nas! I truly appreciate your kind words. They mean a lot to me. As I told Hilary above, I've just sent in my first 20 pages to the editor. I truly hope I'm on the right track. Thanks again for your note here at Adventures in Writing. Have a great weekend!
What a good idea to write a memoir about learning as a mature student. It’s never too late to learn. I was awarded my B,A. with Honours in English Lit at the age of 64. Your blog is very engaging. https//:www.hubpages.com/@glenisrix
Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, Glen! Thanks so much for stopping by. And thanks for your kind words. They are greatly appreciated. Bravo to you in getting your B.A. with honors. You are right. It's never too late to obtain a dream. Have a beautiful weekend!
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