Have you ever thought of writing your memoir? It can be such a therapeutic exercise. Putting all of those old memories down on paper spurs other memories, and before you know it you have a book! It can allow you let go of old grievances getting them down on paper. You feel lighter as a consequence.
Writing ‘Enduring Threads’ flowed freely. Some reorganisation happened during the process, getting a few things into a similar time frame. Letting it sit for a few months was worthwhile; as rereading later, one sees how it can be simplified, words removed and other anecdotes added. Removing adverbs is very helpful, plus some adjectives. I found I couldn’t remove many adjectives, as I liked to think they helped paint the scene and keep the atmosphere of the period. Talking to family will of course bring in other perspectives, which may or may not be useful. It is your perspective, when all said and done!
Every revision helps to refine the work. I like to apply the same ‘rules’ writing my children’s and young adult books. It can help to have rules that bring the writing to life and remove the padding.
As far as having a routine, I’m yet to become more disciplined. When I was much younger I met a Swiss woman whom I really admired. She worked as a psychiatrist in the mornings and as a tapestry weaver in the afternoons. This provided the balance in her life that she was seeking. My ideal would be to garden half the day and write the other half; with a walk at the end of the day. When I do this it feels the perfect routine for me as a retired person. Lucky, I know, as many of you are working.
I’d love to hear about your routines and rules that you set yourself.