Writing a book
Man, writing a book can be hard! To all those people out there wanting to write a book, beware: it can be frustrating, emotionally draining and time consuming. You can go through points where you don’t think you can finish and you’ve given so much to the book, you’re not sure there’s anything left to give. BUT, I would highly recommend taking the plunge and giving it a go! For me, it has also been inspiring, emotionally purging, and rewarding. I’m a couple of weeks away from having a rough draft of the book finished and I’m feeling like I’m at the end of a marathon: a little tired, having pushed past the hump, gotten into a steady stride and am heading for the finish line. Of course then there is the editing by me, my literary agent, then me again, and finally by the editor and publisher – as long as all goes to plan. I’m excited about this next part.
As I approach the end, I’m feeling very reflective about the experience so far. I’ve learned so much during the process of writing this book, especially considering the experiences I’m writing about are still fresh in my mind and heart. I did however face a lot of hurdles. Here are a few of the problems I’ve faced, that perhaps other writers can relate to:
- Portraying real people in my life – I am using pseudonyms, but of course they are going to know who they are when they read it and I want to be as accurate as possible without hurting or angering anyone.
- Writing about particularly emotional experiences – It’s been very cathartic to get onto paper all the emotions I’ve kept bottled up, but difficult. There were moments during the 366 days that really affected me and sometimes other people that I love. It was hardest to write about those personal times. I have occasionally gotten so frustrated with having to relive and articulate these moments that I had to completely walk away from my computer for a day. The difficulty of getting it out of me on to computer screen proved that they were still many issues I hadn’t dealt with completely, despite my trying to convince myself I was over them, and I had to deal with through the writing process.
- Being honest with myself and the reader – There are things I did during the year that I’m not completely proud of – things that I would have done differently had I to do it over. But alas, time doesn’t work like that and I can’t change the things I’ve done, only deal with them and try to do things better in the present and future. What is that saying about giving strength to accept the things I can’t change and change the things I can, or something like that? (I’m writing this with very weak internet right now, so I’ll have to look it up later, but you get the point)
- The dreaded procrastination - There is always laundry to be done and tea to be made and Netflix to watch (especially when I get hooked on a series and “need” to watch the whole five seasons of it). When I’m feeling uninspired, it is hard to write, and easy to do any of these other things.
- Retreating into myself – There were also a few weeks where I became completely anti-social, ignored all my friends and family, and was a little down on how hard it was to finish a few of the chapters (I think I might have also been avoiding dealing with some of those emotional personal issues I talked about earlier).
Despite these times when I thought I wouldn’t be able to continue, I somehow managed to keep on deadline and I should be done the book by the end of the month, as planned! I’m ready to have the main writing part finished and on to the editing and tweaking.
Overall, I’m feeling very positive about it. I had a great meeting with my literary agent today. I have gained so much more in terms of knowledge, skills, and personal growth, that far outweigh any negativity. I have learned to look at the big picture and the small details simultaneously. I have learned TONS about writing dialogue and extensive description, two aspects of writing that aren’t included in journalistic stories very often. Finally, I’m really proud of what I’ve done so far. I believe in myself and I believe in this book. And whatever happens, I’m will have accomplished my goal. I will have written a book. Next goal: sell millions of copies!