In my Memoir Mastery course, we talk a lot about course-correcting. Writing a compelling memoir isn’t the straightest of paths. There’s exploration and play, deepening and thickening, and the final piece often looks different than expected. That’s why we start with a plan, then compassionately adjust as we go.
It’s like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way. –E.L. Doctorow
Part of the writing process involves course-correcting our expectations. We often think the process will be easier and quicker than it is. That’s where compassion and self-forgiveness come in. If we get stuck in the inner critic loop, we’re done.
I’ve learned this the hard way. In the past 20 years, I’ve written five books, two of which have been published. Course-correcting has been an essential part of this process, as has been identifying, and letting go of expectations. Forgiveness has been an important part of that process.
I’ve been dancing with this process again the past few weeks. As some of you know, I’ve been working on reorganizing my business these past few months. I’ve been rebuilding offerings, creating new offerings and moving everything to a new platform.
I seriously underestimated how much time and effort this would take. Cough.
It’s funny to me now that I thought I could pull off such a big project so quickly, but that’s part of my Aries nature, with my “oh, it’ll be easy” optimism.
So I’ve been course-correcting. I’ll be offering my current Memoir Mastery course again this September while I continue to work on splitting that course into two separate courses. (Registration will open in mid-August–more info coming soon.)
My new Writer’s Circle community (originally planned for July) will be available in mid-to-late August. I’m really excited about this community and will be sharing more information soon!
In the meantime, I continue to work on forgiving myself and treating myself with compassion instead of trying to be super human.
Because I’m not. None of us are, despite the expectations of our capitalist society. And after this challenging year, I’m needing to regroup before we head back into another busy fall. My kids start school in a month (!), so we’re fitting in a few more adventures before then.
I’ve found this to be an essential part of creating a sustainable life (not to mention a sustainable writing habit). The head-down, push-through thing only works for so long before we burn out. And after this challenging year, I think a lot of us are reassessing what works for us, what doesn’t and where we’re wanting to go next.
Compassion and forgiveness are part of what will help us get there.
When I find myself getting tripped up by something in my life, I use the Hawaiian ho’oponopono forgiveness prayer. It’s a simple but effective prayer that goes like this: “I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you, I love you.”
You can read more about the ho’oponopono prayer and how to use it here.
I use it for everything: past issues that are still sticky, my writing, relationships, my business. (I use it a lot when I’m revisiting past events in my writing.) If this calls to you, I hope you find it to be helpful as well.
P.S.: If you know someone who could benefit from these notes, please encourage them to join our community here. I’ll send them my Story Starter Kit as a thank you.