I’ve had a book inside of me for almost 10 years now. Ooo that sounds painful and it is. I did try to write a book once. It came out as a short story and it was a good short story. I had the editing genius of my good friend, Corrie; she was relentless with spelling, grammar and, most importantly, boosting my confidence along the way as it had a tendency to lag a bit.
I submitted my masterpiece to numerous publications and finally one accepted it. The problem was I had to literally butcher it from the original 5,000 words to 1,800. Butchered. I hated it. It went online as part of an e-book (I can’t even find it online anymore thank goodness). It was a book for a charity in England where you were on your honour to donate to the charity then download the book for free.
It was a thrill at first, seeing my name in the table of contents. But when I decided to read it again I cried. Not because of its poignancy and smooth sentences and clear ideas but because it lost everything I put into it; all the love, memories, tears, laughter and work was simply gone. Just like that.
I tried putting it in my blog in installments (way back) and rewriting it all the while. When it came to the last installment I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t put it in. It was still not right.
I ended up have a relapse with my meds, became quite ill and didn’t write again for 4 years.
When I went back to my blog the first thing I did was delete the installments. I knew it could be better. It would be better. Then I didn’t write a word anywhere for 3 more years, 2 of those because of another relapse. I was more ill than I’ve ever been yet.
This past year is the year I have consistently wrote and been mostly healthy mentally. I cannot stop thinking about that story. It’s getting downright distracting! I’ll wait at red lights when, out of nowhere, I’m expanding a scene from the story in such fine detail I can see it in front of me.
Until somebody honks.
But still I hold back.
I haven’t started it yet. I want to. Oh, I want to.
I’m not saying I won’t do it, I know I will. It’s just all so daunting.
How can this affected brain of mine have this incredible work in it? Maybe only I will think it’s wonderful and meaningful. It won’t change the world in any way. Why is that important anyway?
So after writing today on my blog I realized I should write the story for me and make it mine again. I need to remember to be gentle with myself. I should not think about publishers and manuscripts. I know how hard it is to get published with all the wonderful stories there are to tell out there. I can’t read those fast enough.
So, now I need to make a date with myself and get started. All you experienced writers out there, what advice will you give me?