Non-Resolutions are the Easiest to Keep

Well, I’m feeling quite smart at the moment. At the beginning of the year, I made a resolution to NOT write my second book, my follow-up memoir (the recovery half of the the ordeal I wrote about in Caged Eyes, centered around my journey to climb Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks). It turns out it’s super easy to keep resolutions which are a commitment to NOT do something difficult.

Actually what I said is, my resolution is “to make the most of the year and to find peace with whatever that ends up being. So my resolution is to accept that the timing of my follow-up memoir will work out as it should.”

It’s been a tough six months, not just because of the publication of Caged Eyes but because everything that’s transpired in my personal life because of the memoir plus things that have happened just by coincidence. There have been days and weeks when I’ve been able to focus on writing memoir #2, but most days the Word doc has remained unopened.

Here’s what else I wrote six months ago:

“It’s been impossible for me to write a memoir about feeling whole when I’ve been beaten up and broken down by the process of writing and publishing the first memoir, Caged Eyes.

The truth is that in the next few years, I might gain understanding and find the words to better articulate what the journey to climb Colorado’s highest peaks meant to me. That isn’t to say the meaning of the journey will change the older I get, but my interpretation of the experiences will.

So instead of beating myself up for not finishing it, I’ll keep focusing on making the small progress that I do. And I’ll focus on trusting that this book journey will unfold as it was meant to, just as with Caged Eyes.”

Have I found that self-forgiveness? Definitely.

I see the glimmers of hope, too. As I’m doing the emotional work to process what these past few months and my first memoir’s publication have meant to me – and as I’m venturing into the mountains to find a bit of healing – I’m finding myself reliving the emotional arc of memoir #2. Somewhere there’s a corner of my brain where the book is coming together, where I’m finding the words and images to articulate this story.

Maybe that’s what it means to be a memoirist; maybe sometimes it’s less about the actual writing and more about the living. If that’s the case? I’m nailing it.



Author: Lynn K Hall

Lynn Hall is a memoirist, activist in the movement to end sexual violence, ultra-runner, and crazy cat lady. Her memoir, CAGED EYES: AN AIR FORCE CADET’S STORY OF RAPE AND RESILIENCE, was published by Beacon Press in February 2017. Her writing has previously appeared in the New York Times, The LA Times, Hippocampus Magazine, The Sexual Assault Report, The Manifest-Station, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, and elsewhere. In the summers, Lynn copes with publication anxiety by spending too many days in the Colorado mountains, and in the winters, with pans of brownies. She lives in Boulder with her partner and their 23 cats. Just kidding…she only has five.