Monday, August 29, 2011

The Memoir Project

Ernest Hemingway's Typewriter in Sun Valley, Idaho

So, I did it! I wrote and submitted an essay for Glamour magazine's "Real Life Story" contest.

A friend told me about it several months ago and encouraged me to apply, but I just couldn't seem to find the time to actually sit down and write. There was always an excuse:

"The baby needs to be changed." 

"I need to do laundry."

"The dog has to be walked right now!"

"We have family coming into town."

Blah, Blah, Blah.

That last excuse proved to be my saving grace. Nate's dad came to visit us the weekend before the essay was due. I had not even written one word, and at that point, I knew.

It was never going to get written.

But I was wrong. I love it when that happens! My sweet, supportive husband literally pushed me out the door.

"Go. Write. We've got this covered," he said as I slipped out the door, watching Maddux play on the floor with his Grandpa. So I did. I went to the Starbucks in Green Hills, and sat and wrote like I haven't written in nearly a year, since Munchkin was born. And I came home and wrote some more, and again the next night, until it was finished. 

Looking back, I realized it was the first time since Maddux was born that I completely let go and let Nate be in charge of taking care of him. I've had time away from him where Nate watched him while I ran errands or got a massage, of course, but I always found myself worrying and thinking too much. As a stay at home mom, I think that I tend to hold on a little too tightly and forget that Nate is just as capable (if not more so....I mean, you should see those two together) of caring for our son.

But this time, when I was away writing, I forced myself to think of nothing else but the words I wanted to put down on paper. I didn't worry about whether or not Nate would remember to feed him (he did), or if he would change his diaper (he did that, too).

And you know what? When I got home, everything was fine. There were no fires to put out and Maddux hardly even glanced my way when I walked in the door (which, if I am honest, kinda bummed me out). He was his usual smiling, giggling self, so ridiculously happy to be rolling around on the floor with his Daddy and Grandpa.

15 minutes before the submission deadline passed, we pressed "Send" and my essay was on its way.

At this point, it doesn't matter whether I win or lose (although winning would be awesome!).

I am just so happy that I actually did it!

P.S. I've become addicted to this website and am dying to attend one of her memoir writing workshops!

Check out this amazing series on Writers' Rooms, which profiles the spaces where authors and musicians, both past and present, have written their most famous works.

One of my favorites is the little hut where Roald Dahl wrote some of the most enduring stories of our time, like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.


Marion Roach Smith said...

Hey there, lucyandlloyd:
I am deeply honored at your shout out about my website.
You come back and visit any time, sister.
And write on. You've got yourself a new fan.

Lucy and Lloyd said...

You've seriously made my day! Thanks so much for commenting. I'm hoping to meet you someday soon at one of your workshops. All the best!