As promised, here is the second of three installments of my "True Confessions" posts.
So, the novel is set aside for now, and I plan to resume writing a memoir—though you may ask, How can you tackle something of that length when you just shelved the novel because its length hampered progress with your other projects? The answer is that I'm writing the memoir in snippet format. That is, as ideas come to me, I write an essay-length piece and file it away. When I'm ready for the next "chapter," I sit down to produce another contribution, which may not necessarily connect in linear fashion with the last piece. While each chapter stands on its own, I do intend to pull a unifying thread through.
I will also continue drafting personal essays for submission to contests, newspapers, etc. In the meantime, I've learned of my 1st place win in the 2021 SouthWest Writers Contest for a humor piece I submitted! This win is incredibly gratifying; however, some of you who sense that I'm more of a serious-minded individual may wonder when I first entertained the concept of being a humorist. Indeed, I take any work I do seriously and give it my all. I must admit that I've posed this question to myself more than once. I must also confess that I'm not entirely certain of the answer.
I have a couple of theories about the development of my humor voice. For one, I've long been able to see the comedic side of ordinary life situations with which most of us identify and commiserate. As an ardent golfer, I often come across scenarios rife with fodder for humor prose—although I don't always see humor in a golf round and end up telling myself that I should never have gotten out of bed! I plan to create a collection of these anecdotes (some of which have already been published) in book form that would, hopefully, find a home at golf clubs or in retail golf shops.
The second theory I'll share is that as dark as my memoir will likely turn out to be, and as dark as the novel is, for that matter, humor may have become a form of respite for my writing brain to protect it from being mired in the abyss too long. Whatever the case, some time had passed before I understood that others appreciate my quick wit and one-liners as much as I enjoy producing them. Whether my humor represents some sort of coping skill or raw talent, or both, at least others find my work funny. I confess that appreciating my humor means a lot to me!
See you next month for installment number three of "True Confessions."