I am procrastinating. Again. I have just completed the third edit of my book. It is coming along nicely but the closer I get to sending it to the publisher the more I am questioning my sanity. I have always been able to put words down on paper. The process of picking apart my memoir has proven to be one of the most challenging things I have ever done. I have spent hours carefully considering proper grammar, transitions and content. Strangely, this has turned out to be the easy part of this task.
I have a new appreciation for those who are professional writers. There is so much to remember and consider when putting words on paper. Rules suck. I have found myself playing favorites with some of the chapters in the book and labeling others as my red headed step children. There are two chapters in particular that I have to force myself to work on because they are very difficult to relive. I have learned that I need to edit material in these chapters during the day because doing so too close to bedtime results in my subconscious running wild with my dreams.
As hard as I try to remain detached from my own words it just is not possible. The variable in the non-fiction book writing equation that I failed to account for was how emotionally draining and mentally exhausting focusing on one of the most difficult times in my life would be. These words are my story. I have the opinion that the more distance I can put between the present and the past the better I feel. My head knows that going back is necessary in order to create a complete picture of what life was like while these changes were going on. My heart does not necessarily share the same enthusiasm however. I try to spend as little time as possible in the emotional time machine from that year.
Recounting what it has been like to have so many things change so quickly is hard. It has been difficult to detach from the content so that I can manage to put together something that is worthy of printing. Depending on the day, I experience simultaneous moments of doubt and confidence with regard to whether or not what I have written is good enough. I wonder if I will ever reach the point where I feel that it is finished. I have moments when I wonder if anyone will really care about what I have to say and other moments of enthusiasm and excitement when I imagine what holding my own published book will feel like.
I have had a few moments when I was ready to ditch the entire thing and to just be happy that someone thought it would be a good read. My extremely brave and patient wife has watched me have my baby fits and, when I was finished stomping, promptly told me to “suck it up butter cup.” She has been unbelievably supportive and helpful through this entire book writing adventure.
I believe that creating this book is part of my healing process as much as it is about sharing my memoir with the world. I have found that there are still some old wounds that are in need of band aids and other things that I have moved past. I am trusting that this process is an important part of my journey to wherever I am headed in the future.
My expectations about writing a book may have been completely blown out of the water but the writing process has helped stretch me well beyond my comfort zone. I am reminded that the willingness to step outside of our normal boundaries is the first step to saying yes to what the universe has in store for us. By giving consent to growth we give the universe permission to bring good things our way. When we commit ourselves to fighting fear and doubt we are better able to see what we are all capable of accomplishing. Chapter 4 is calling.