Pausing for effect

There's good news. And then there's bad news.

And since it's only Tuesday, I'll start with the good. And that, my friends, is that I'm getting on the right track, losing some weight, and just finished chapter 18 of my book. *Cue the marching band and confetti!*

The bad? Chapter 16 is turning me into a cliched writer because 1) my muse has decided to toy with me and 2) I'm this close to claiming asylum on Writer's Block Island.

If you've seen the small portions I've posted here and here on my blog, you know that I'm writing Baby F(Ph)at in present tense. And the reason I'm doing that is because I'm writing as I live my experiences. It can't get any more real than that, folks. And up until about a week ago, I was doing fine in my quest to stick to writing in sequential order. If something happened while I was writing chapter 6 that I thought would be great for chapter 7, I'd take as many notes as I could for cues when I got to it. No way was I going to try and work on tomorrow while today was still a reality.

It kept things neat and nice. Then I effed up. I finished chapter 15 and then I finished chapter 16. Then I had a conversation with my writing pal, Juliette, and realized that I completely skipped over a rather important segment that would explain a lot in 16. So I played Musical Chapters. Fifteen stayed where it was, 16 became 17, and then somehow 18 got written and I still haven't worked my way back.

I know what I'm writing about in 16, mind you. I just can't seem to pause reality long enough so I can devote the time necessary to writing it without missing out on the now I need for my book.

The problem with writing a memoir in real time is that every single moment I am living jumps into my head to immediately push the most recent experience (like typing the letter "r" ) out of the way to make room for the newest (like typing a that letter "r".) It's a pretty bad way of trying to explain that once the sun has risen on the next day and a new set of possibilities, my Present-Tense-Brain is going to be hard to convince that it's allowed to backtrack to write about yesterday as if it was still today.

***

This would be one of those moments where I wonder why I couldn't have just written the memoir after the fact. You know, like normal people.