In this episode of This Is Me Being Uncomfortable, I mumble about my thoughts on memoir and memories, projects I have in queue, and ego and why writing is not a selfish act but a giving act. In particular:
00:10 The Autobiographer’s Handbook
01:00 I just realized I have terrible follow-through
01:15 Going from one idea to another idea to another idea
01:30 When the Lights Go Out at 10:16 (formerly The Court: Jeremiah’s Story)
02:30 An old project renewed (i.e. a vow to follow through)
04:00 I have five memoirs in my head
05:00 Mustache (formerly “Father of Mine”)
05:40 A brief moment of ADHD
05:45 Sleeping Birds Do Not Sing: A Memoir of Mental Illness
07:15 We’re All Gonna Die: A Memoir of Severe Anxiety
08:30 Jumping Jacks in the Shower: A Memoir of Anorexia Nervosa
09:10 How do you write memoir if you have lived a relatively normal life?
10:00 Me to my wife: “You have a story you can write”
11:00 Novels I want to write/finish
11:30 When Death Comes Knocking: A Social Satire
11:35 Don’t tell your LA Times bestseller writer friend your entire novel’s concept
12:30 “First drafts are crap” and Anne Lamott
13:30 What’s your story?
15:15 Writing memoir is not egotistical
15:30 Writing memoir is not about ‘me,’ it’s about universal themes
16:00 I don’t have a choice whether I want to write or not
16:30 Writing is how I understand life
16:45 A brief moment of not knowing how to end this audio clip
17:08 “Talking through my mouth” (as if there’s another way?)
(Total Length: 17:42)
Click play to listen
My apologies for sounding nasally. I’ve been battling a head and chest cold the last two weeks. I should have hit up the neti pot before I hit the record button. Also, my apologies for coughing at times.
The Autobiographer’s Handbook
The book I mention at the start, and again at the end, is The Autobiographer’s Handbook. It is available for the Kindle ($7.99) and in paperback ($13.09). The introduction is written by Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius) and is edited by Jennifer Traig (Devil in the Details). Whether you consider yourself a memoirist or simply someone who is interested in capturing memories or trying to understand your life better, it’s a really good read. The Autobiographer’s Handbook has been a really motivational read for me, more so than a lot of “writing” books out there—some of which I love, some of which I loathe. Suddenly, I know that even accomplished memoirists have faced (and still face) the same stumbling blocks as I do.
Here’s a description of the book on Amazon:
At last―the contemporary masters of memoir have come together to reveal their strategies and impart their advice. This book contains an unprecedented wealth of knowledge in one place.
In The Autobiographers Handbook, you’re invited to a roundtable discussion with today’s most successful memoirists. Let Nick Hornby show you how the banal can be brilliant. Elizabeth Gilbert will teach you to turn pain into prose. Want to beat procrastination? Steve Almond has the answer. Learn about memory triggers (Ishmael Beah: music) and warm-up exercises (Jonathan Ames: internet backgammon). These writers may not always agree (on research: Tobias Wolff, yes, Frank McCourt, no) but whether you’re a blossoming writer or a veteran wordsmith, this book will help anyone who has ever dreamed of putting their story on paper, on writing themselves into existence.
About This Is Me Being Uncomfortable
I’m not particularly comfortable or confident in speaking. As a matter of fact, I’ve often walked away feeling “stupid” after talking to someone. Hence, why I’m doing this: to face my fear. This Is Me Being Uncomfortable is a way for me to get my thoughts out of my head, and not always in written form. I’m fully aware that I don’t have the prettiest voice. You try being 6’4” tall from southern Virginia. Perhaps, I should add some soft music in the background, eh? If you’d like me to talk about a certain topic (writing, anxiety, meditation, life, death, and/or everything in between), contact me.
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