Author Ruth Smith Meyer

Ruth Smith Meyer Inspirational writer, speaker

Thinking out Loud on my Blog

Goals for 2014

Posted by ruthsmithmeyer-com on January 13, 2014 at 9:15 AM

When I was in school I found it exciting at exam time, to be handed a few pages of foolscap, and a list of questions to test my retention of the knowledge that had been imparted to me in the most recent school term. I don’t even know if they have foolscap any more, but that extra-long sheet of paper, was exhilarating to me. Even in its emptiness, it was full of challenging possibilities.


The beginning of another year is like a new page. Endless possibilities present themselves. As a writer, I am looking forward to fulfilling some goals. Some of my aims are brought forward from last year, for my targets were thwarted by my husband’s unexpected medical problems which didn’t allow for a concentrated writing project. Oh, I did write shorter items, but my main objective wasn’t met.


This year, having had good news about the effectiveness of the new cancer drug my husband has been on, and the difference it has made in his overall feelings of well-being, I am hopeful that I can realize my goal—writing the story of my life.


For some years, I have been keeping a file on my memories. Of course they don’t come in a neatly ordered sequence, but the computer has made it easy to enter little slices as they come to me, into their approximate space on my time line. The recollection has brought joy to my days, often growth and new understanding, and at times healing as I write them into my growing file. After the publication of my novels, my family has been encouraging me to put those into a book. That idea gave me the courage to share little vignettes with my writing group. Their response and eagerness to hear, read and critique more of them, gave me extra impetus to really work on it.


For some time I’ve been wrestling with what should be the focus of my book. There are various possibilities.

• A collection of short stories not necessarily with connections to the one before or one after and perhaps no logical progression from one to the next.

• An account of my struggle to feel valued as a woman even if my strengths were more fitting for a male in the culture in which I grew up.

• A narrative about my faith journey from a conservative Mennonite upbringing to a different understanding of Christian life.

• The experiences as a child and on into adulthood that made me feel different and not neatly fitting into the role that was expected of me.

• For awhile, I thought of Out of the Ordinary as a title and therefore as a focus.

• Now I’m wavering between that and Stepping Stones focusing on using the difficulties, the differences, the hurting times,(the stumbling blocks) as stepping stones.


If I had time, I could perhaps make several books out of the different ages and stages of my life, but realistically my time is limited. Considering that it has taken me eight years since my last big project to get this book written, I’d better try to combine much of it in one book.


I know that I want to share these memories and life experiences with my children and grandchildren, but I also want to write it for a wider audience so that hopefully others may see themselves in some of my struggles and perhaps identify with me enough that the reading could inspire them, and encourage them to use their personal stumbling blocks as stepping stones.


In the past week, I’ve been reading and re-reading, moving things around and writing additional memories. Those are the beginning steps toward the goal of publishing by the end of the year—hopefully in time for Christmas.




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Reply Janis Cox
1:16 PM on January 13, 2014 
Hi Ruth,
So good to hear about your husband's treatment. Blessings on your goals for 2014. May the Lord richly give you the desires of your heart.
Reply Patti J Smith
2:37 PM on January 13, 2014 
Wonderful Post! Good luck in your endeavors and attaining your goals!
Reply Tracy Krauss
3:31 PM on January 13, 2014 
I'm sure god will show you exactly how you should put it all together. (And yes, we still have foolscap! I'm a teacher!)
Reply Bobbie Ann Cole
5:18 PM on January 13, 2014 
Ruth, I am sorry to hear your husband has cancer. I am a cancer survivor, in my 17th year since diagnosis. I pray your husband also comes out the other side. I have a suggestion re writing about your life - you could take it from a perspective of what you are currently living through, as a wife, bringing in all the influencing factors from your past that have a bearing on your philosophy and actions as his caregiver.
Reply Kathleen Friesen
8:11 PM on January 13, 2014 
Your post brought to mind one of my favorite movie quotes (from Freedom Writers): "You have been blessed with a burden." I pray that you will find the time, energy and direction you need to complete your memoirs.
Reply Sara Davison
11:02 PM on January 13, 2014 
I laughed at your opening Ruth - I always used to get excited when they handed me a blank sheet of foolscap too. Can't be too many of us around, but I'm guessing most of us are still writing years later. So glad you are working on getting your memories down and published. They'll be a joy for anyone to read, I'm sure, but a priceless gift for your family. Blessings on your work in 2014!
Reply Ruth Smith Meyer
8:22 AM on January 14, 2014 
Thanks so much for all your comments. It's a delight to get feedback and feel the connection with other writers.
Reply Bonnie Way
7:25 PM on January 14, 2014 
Writing a memoir is a big goal - yet it's cool that your family is encouraging that. What a gift to give to them! One memoir I'd recommend is Madeline Sonik's Afflictions and Departures. I like the way that she writes each story to stand on its own, and yet together they tell a bigger story. It might give you some ideas. :) Thanks for joining Ruth's blog hop!
Reply Violet N.
12:14 AM on January 15, 2014 
This sounds like a wonderful project that will enrich you and your family, Ruth. Let it grow organically, as you seem to have done, and I'm sure the next steps will become clear.
Reply I.O. Kirkwood
9:39 PM on January 16, 2014 
Personally, I would like to hear about your struggle to feel valued as a woman and how your faith defined that struggle. But I think all of your potential focii are excellent.
Reply Janet Sketchley
8:16 AM on January 17, 2014 
Ruth, what a wise idea to decide on your overall purpose for your memoir before nailing those memories into a rigid format. This will make the difference between a rambling, personal book that will mean a lot to your loved ones and a cohesive book that will mean a lot to loved ones and to strangers. May the Lord give wisdom in designing this book, so He can use it to bless many. So glad to hear your husband's health is in a better state!