So, a week after realising I had to actually get moving with the writing of my memoir I'm writing about my new life with MS (multiple sclerosis), I've begun writing bits and pieces most days. I'm following the advice my poetry mentor, Ray Tyndale, gave me, and picking the bits I feel like writing, and not worrying about writing down in a linear way.
I've been thinking about a final word count, how many words a verse memoir should amount to. It's a tricky question, because there may not have been terribly many verse memoirs written in the past. Writing in verse rather than prose requires fewer words for the final product.
Anyway, I feel like 50,000 words is the correct number to be thinking about/planning for. I spoke to a writer friend today, and this is the figure she felt might be good, up to 50,000, less would be OK. I'm not happy with anything less than 50,000, I don't think. Less than 50,000 seems too flimsy...
Anyway, I wrote some the day before yesterday, the more yesterday, and I've written more today. Some of the word count is made up of poems I wrote before, as part of getting over and accepting my diagnosis. I've written about my walker, acceptance, tripping and falling. As I think about each chapter, I find the appropriate poem in my computer folders.
As of 7pm today, my word count for my memoir is 6,000 words. This is over ten percent of my proposed final word count, and I've still got 5 months to go! That feels completely like something I can do. I mustn't get complacent though, and having a mentor who I meet up with often will make sure of that.
It's a work in progress, and it's progressing well!