Present tense and past tense. Not in the usual way. My memoir chapters right now are a sort of braid, weaving together the past and the present. The odd numbered chapters are more recent: from 2008 on. The even numbered chapters delve into the past. There are parallels of experience and story arc emerging in this exercise. The true story is slowing outing itself. Of course, everything could change later on and that’s ok too. This is my “shitty first draft”, as Anne Lamott calls it. Giving myself permission to write a very shitty first draft and let the story out.

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.”  – Anne Lamott

Written by Tina Gasperson

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