Voice: What are you doing?
Me: Well, I'm trying to write my story.
Voice: Looks to me like you are reading blogs and news sites.
Me: It's research.
Voice: What's your story about?
Me: Cough. It's about ...
Voice: You have already lost me. You hesitated.
Me: I didn't hesitate. My throat was dry.
Excuses. Ah, they are easy to come by. First, it was difficult to write what I needed to say (and some days it still is). Then, it was the whole having a baby thing. Later, it was packing up our house, moving to another state and searching for a new house while living in a hotel with a baby and two dogs.
Today, those pesky details are resolved and it's time to write. While I keep working on a memoir manuscript, I signed up for a personal essay class. I want to brush up on my skills in this shorter format.
This will be the first class I am taking through the WOW! Women on Writing. There are plenty of writing programs and classes available online. I have taken classes through MediaBistro and had positive experiences with the program, the instructor and my virtual classmates.
The WOW! class "The Art of Truth: Writing Your Life Into Short Creative Essays" seemed to fit everything I was looking for — short course length, a good outline of the class, weekly assignments and instructor feedback. It is reasonably priced as well.
On Saturday, I received my copy of Courage & Craft: Writing Your Life into Story by Barbara Abercrombie. The online essay instructor Melanie Faith suggested it along with a handful of essays to read for the class.
My son allowed me to read a few pages of the book. He sat beside me on his fuzzy, blue blanket beating plastic balls together and randomly turning toward me letting a string of drool moisten the corner of the pages. I enjoyed every word and then ... well, he tired of this exercise and we moved on to a nap.
I can't wait to begin the class. While I feel 100 percent that I have a book-length memoir waiting to get out, I know that many episodes in our lives are really magazine articles and not books.
I have a lot of writing to do, so for now I'm saying goodbye to the Voice (the Internet filled with all its advice, tips and distractions). I just need to sit, butt in chair and write.