Friday, February 22, 2013

Why I Seem to Be Writing Less

Twenty-five years ago, when I started my memoirs business, writing and publishing life stories for private individuals, I seemed to have an unlimited capacity for work—like a computer in which you could install more RAM anytime you needed to increase productivity. At one time, early on, I was working for eight clients at once. I was 37 years old with a young family.

Ten years on, in 1998, I started a trade publishing business, which reached peak production of 24 titles in a single year. My model had begun to change, though: I was no longer a computer. I was a juggler with too many balls in the air. I sold that business after balls started hitting me in the face.

Today,  past 60, my model of work has changed again. My writing life has become like a children’s block puzzle involving three holes and three pegs. I have only three spaces to fill, and the round peg better not try to go into the square hole.

This is what it has felt like in the past few weeks, as work has intensified on my memoir, and I near completion of the hardest chapter in the book, the year I turned 20 and my life made its sharpest detour. Meanwhile my blogging activity in the past weeks has been reduced almost to nil. I can no longer sustain my passion for both at once, not while putting a third peg in the third hole, writing for hire, as I must continue to do.

Today, like most days, I got up before dawn and worked 60–90 minutes on the memoir. Then, after Mass, I put in nearly four hours on a paying project, a short biography of a client’s grandfather. After lunch, having got up at 4 a.m., I collapsed until nearly 4 p.m. When I woke up, I found I had virtually no desire to write this post.

I’ll go to bed now and get up again before dawn and plug away at the memoir. And return to this blog when and if time and energy allow.


  1. Thanks! I was wondering. I don't know how you managed to churn out so much for as long as you did. I certainly don't have that kind of discretionary time. And it sounds like you didn't either.

  2. I'm grateful for your posts, and I look forward to reading your memoir.


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