Yesterday I sent in part one of my manuscript to an editor who wanted to see more. I have been working on this for at least 6 weeks, however rather rigoursly the last two. My plan was to send Part One, Part Three and one chapter of Part Two, however I realized the chapter in part two was more involved than I anticipated, and I listened to the Voice Inside and sent in what was finished.
I had it printed off at Copy Max, and while driving there I was really nervous. I don’t exactly know why but there was this fear that it wouldn’t turn out, and that somehow I would not be able to send it. But when I got to Copy Max, they had it all boxed up with a bound sample of my book. I was so happy, I could hardly stand it. There it was my book in a form. At that moment and for many moments after it didn’t matter if I did one thing more- I had accomplished something- my book was in form, or at least part of it was.
I have been carrying this book inside of me for 4 years. I began writing it in the summer of 2004, and then resisted it, struggled with it and thought about it ever since. I relate this process to be like childbirth. Four years is a long time to be pregnant and if I did not get it out it would die, or maybe we both would. Well, I may not have died literally, but a part of me surely would have, a part of me that I know now is better expressed than not. When the time came to push, I resisted and almost threw the entire book in the little trash can on my computer. And not only that I was also going to take every single thing I have ever written and do the same. I was done, but then I wasn’t and I began writing.
Sometimes I would stop writing for a moment and wonder who the hell this woman is who is writing day and night. I hardly recognized her. A woman who had to now go to coffee shops and not into her sacred space above the garage to write. I loved her- this is me. This is who I am and what I do, yet also realizing if this book goes nowhere it is okay. I got to the place where I just had to get it out of me, and so far the head is out. That was part one. I still have the shoulders to go which is the first chapter of part two, but you know I think the rest will be easy. Usually babies just slide out after those shoulders emerge.
I stayed happy for the rest of the day about part one. I took it all in, which is what I want to do as this story continues to unfold. I want to experience every moment of it. But then my happiness left, and today I have been blah. Last night I read part of the book to my friend, and while I read it out loud to someone else, the doubts flew in. Oh my God is my baby cute enough. Is it being received well, or is it being looked at as the ugliest baby in the world. I don’t know maybe I will just stop here and won’t share it. I will keep it to myself.
I truly did wonder if my book even made sense or did it just make sense to me, and if so does that matter. I don’t know. I am totally new at this. I have no idea if what I have written is any good. It reminds me of the clip in Purple Rain where Prince goes out and sings Purple Rain, a song which meant something dear and meaningful to him. After he sang it, he left the stage, believing it would not be received. He paced the floor of his dressing room frantically and then, he hears it- applause, wild and crazy applause. He goes back out onto the stage, with that cute innocent smile on his and celebrates with the audience singing two more songs.
When I read some of my book to her I heard the vulnerability and innocence in my writing. I felt exposed. Is this really how I sound? Is my writing tone vulnerable? Actually I hope that it is. I hope that when this is all said and done, which I realize it never is, but as this life I have created in my mind begins to take shape, that I will be on that stage smiling innocently because I gave what was meaningful and dear to me.