Abandonment Issues

Hi Friends!

I just read the essay “Abandonment Issues” In the New York Times Book Review by Mark O’Connell, Slates Books columnist. This prompted me to think of the projects I have abandoned. Not my writer projects per say because of continued hope I will revise those half-finished pieces. Picture Books manuscripts mainly.

But before I started writing full-time I was so enthused with craft projects in my life going from sewing my own clothes and drapes to others. After making approximately ten quilts both twin and queen, I have the half-finished quilted pillow shams and a chicken quilt. All the pieces nicely cut out but not sewn together. then I went into making my own cards with stamps and Stampin  up.

I guess Stampin Up was a craze or fad because no one does cards anymore. Maybe you’ll find the occasional thank you card or birthday  card, but cards are not so much in fashion anymore. Not in my circle anyway.

Knitting came next for me. I went from knitting scarfs, to sweaters in fishermen’s cable. Everyone in my family got at least one sweater from me if not two. In the midst of knitting one for my husband I abandoned knitting and started going to writing classes.

I was enthralled with the idea of writing a picture book. I had had an epiphany while ill to turn a bird’s song into a picture book. That became “Annie’s Special Day.” (Yes, it totally morphed.) and I learned so so much.

I Joined a writers group , observing and absorbing every word. I started blogging when I started querying. I Joined Penn Writers and went to my first writing conference. I’ll be attending the miniconference this Saturday. (And there’s still time to register)  Then I joined SCBWI and started my own picture book critique group meeting once a month in the library.

And after two years of abandoned picture book projects stuck with what was to become my second picture book, “Edmund Pickle Chin, a Donkey Rescue Story.”

Meanwhile, I had gone to Memoir writing classes because with the advent of getting

Credit Creative Commons _Flicker

Credit Creative Commons _Flicker

“Annie’s Special Day,” published, I harbored not so secretly the desire to of somehow making my journals into public writing. And now after three years of classes I have the first rough draft of my memoir,  “Spiraling, My Battle With Bipolar Disorder.”

I sincerely hope I don’t abandon this one! 🙂

 

My Picture Books in logo by Margot Finke

My Picture Books in logo by Margot Finke

 

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About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
This entry was posted in Clara Bowman-Jahn, Clarike Bowman-Jahn, life story, marketing, memoir, personal growth, writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Abandonment Issues

  1. Darlene says:

    We all have abandoned projects as our interests change. I used to sew all my own clothes and some for others as well. Then I started writing seriously and that was soon abandoned. Like you, I have had many other interests. We move on. It´s OK. So pleased you persevered with the memoir. All the best with it. XO

    Liked by 1 person

    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks, Darlene!

      You are right, we change. It seems we have something in common with sewing our own clothes till we started writing. Are you afraid you’ll give up writing like you did sewing?

      Sometimes days g o by without me writing on my memoir. And I fear I will not revise enough to get it to submission stage. I Still have a two picture books out on submission waiting to hear back on one and need to resubmit the other. Completeing submission packages competes with memoir writing or revising. Then I stall and don’t do either. Get over whelmed. Do you?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Darlene says:

        I get overwhelmed al the time. This move has cost me a lot of writing time but I still make sure I do some writing whenever I can. I will always write I think. But you never know.

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  2. You have a lot of energy. I agree, we all have projects we step away from. I used to do needlepoint and many other things. But life became to busy and I had to focus on other things. I really look forward to reading your memoir some day..Congratulations on completing the first draft.

    Liked by 1 person

    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks, Patricia!

      I yearn to be involved and needed and helpful in my life. Right now all I am doing is ESOL tudering for being helpful. I am not even involved in church although I miss it. I belong to a book cliub. I belong to writing groups. I am really hoping my memoir will help people once it is finished. But it is so hard to revisit each day. There is a lot of pain in it and things I regret. I don’t know how to reconcile those times in my life with who I am today or want to be.

      I stall and then despair over ever finishing. It is such a long hard process. Maybe you will want to be a beta reader for it? I would love for you to read it. : )

      Liked by 1 person

      • Life is meant to be easy. How else would we grow? As you know, I’ve dealt with very challenging times. I know that my work has been to work through the emotions and let go. They are the past, and they have strengthened me within. I am the better for those experiences. All I really have are those precious moments right now. I’ve done the past and live for what I have now. Tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. 🙂

        I’ve never been a beta reader before and probably don’t have the experience you need. But, thank you for asking. I still want to read it.

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        • clarbojahn says:

          Pat? I thought I commented on this the day we were going back and forth and now I see it under Sandra. K. Stein’s comment. I Don’t know how to fix it except copy and paste and give Sandy’s hers. I hope you both understand. Here it is:

          HI Pat!

          I also live for the present which makes my memoir that much harder to write because of the very nature of it , I must look to my past. And to make stories and scenes from my past so someone would be interested in reading it, I have to relive it over and over again. One time is not enough because that time was the time of just putting it down on paper, Now I must revise it and make it perfect. Make it readable for my audience which will hopefully be those who struggle with mental illness and their families and/or the Psycychiatrists and therapists who take care of them.

          I am glad you want to read my memoir. I would hate to lose all my picture b ook friends because of writing a memoir. Although I know the reader must possess different interests. And my memoir is a nichey one.

          I am glad you have worked through a lot of your emotional troubles. I have , too. I guess the stuff I most regret is not hugging my boys more or not telling them I loved them enough. Stuff like that. When my late husband died, their father, I gave them a lot of responsibility they may not have ready for. Although both of them are successful (by anyones standards) whatever thata means. They are happy and I guess that is the most important thing. I still wish I hugged them more. And i wish I read mor e picture books to them when they were littlle. stuff like that.. Big stuff I ca’nt do over.

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          Reply

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope you don’t abandon it either, because I’m looking forward to reading it, and am sure there are many people out there who would be greatly encouraged by it. Do you still have the children’s picture book critique group?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. clarbojahn says:

    HI Sandra,

    I Just noticed you got the comment meant for Pat before you in the scheme of the blog comments. I guess you wondered what was going on. And in the scheme of things I did not see yours till now. So sorry for the inconvenience and misunderstanding or miscommunication.

    Here is my comment meant for you:

    My picture book critque group is disbanded at present but if you go to SCBWI conference in the fall it is easy to hook up with one. There is a table in back where Flemming takes all emails of those interested and then it is just a matter of joining one in your area.

    Thanks for your encouragement in not abandoning this memoir project. I Don’t think I will . I Honestly think a lot of people will be helped by it and this keeps me going when it gets hard. I just finished the last bit of my first draft this morning and will send it to my memoir teacher, Brooke Warner from WYMI6M that I took last year. She has promised to read it from start to finish with comments and feedback. Then after this i can really start the revision process. I am really excited about it.
    Thanks for visiting and Come back and visit whenever you can!

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  5. Johanna Ash says:

    I personally think that forgiving ourselves has to be the first task in writing a memoir. Long before a word is written on a page, forgiveness has to be considered. Life is full of regrets, and this is where we need to forgive ourselves. LIfe is full of wishing, and here we need forgive others as well , and to accept our lives and turn it over to God. I do not see how a memoir can be sincere and not address these complex issues. I see life as a very, very spiritual gift, and as it comes from God, it goes to God. .

    Liked by 1 person

    • clarbojahn says:

      Hi Joanna,

      I have just been thinking over my spiritual self and my spiritual journey. As you know, I have been taking a break from it. Somehow i have to get back with God now it is over. The footsteps on the sand and all that.

      You are right of course that life is a gift from God and one can’t write a memoir without taking Him in account.. And that is somewhat what I have been doing. Now that has to stop. I wil l revisit Him and it in all this with Him walking beside me.

      Thanks so much for your comment. Please come back and visit again.

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  6. Widdershins says:

    Wow! Congratulations on that draft! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yup…part of life is moving on. 🙂 If we stuck with each hobby or interest we had from the very beginning, we would never learn new things or take what we have learned and apply it to something else. You’e done that brilliantly, Clar! Congratulations on TWO picture books that grace children’s bookshelves…and best of luck with your wonderful memoir…you will finish it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks, Vivian!

      I appreciate your good words. Like usual they resound with me and encourage me. Your Faith in me is wonderful to behold. And you ar e right. We must move on with our interests and hobbies.

      🙂

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  8. Hi Clar,
    Your journey with all the “crafty” endeavors sounds a bit like my life. I believe that each project(s) we’ve worked on in the past have led us right where are meant to be today. So don’t worry if at some point writing does go by the wayside because that means there will be bigger and brighter things to accomplish. But keep writing…you are great at that! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks, so much, Tracy!

      Like I told Erik. I hope I keep submitting my manuscripts to publishers now that I am collecting rejections. And I hope I will stick to this memoir until it is finished. Then submit it. It takes real perseverence. 🙂

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  9. Well said. I’m like that sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • clarbojahn says:

      It takes real stick-to – it eveness when switching hobbies just to finish one project. I Hope I keep submitting my manuscripts for submission now I”m collecting rejections. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. jannatwrites says:

    I think we can all look back and see abandoned projects. I don’t see that as a bad thing, though. We try things for a while and sometimes it’s not a fit, or we tire of it and move on. Never would’ve known had we not tried it at all. Now, the things that we are truly passionate about- those are the things that take over and grow and stay with us. It’s good to see you’re sticking with the memoir and continuing with the picture books 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks, Janna!

      I know what you mean. We needed those other things to learn from. Now I have this writing thing. I sure hope I don’t abandon it. Not soon anyway. I have been writing in my journals for almost forty years so that at least is something I have always done, EVen along during my other projects. So , yes, I feel stongly that it is a good bet I will continue to write. Its” the submission process that has me stumped. It is so hard.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting. 🙂

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