I keep waking up in the morning and I keep having a day. And then I keep going to sleep at night. And then? The next morning I do it again. In this way I hope to eventually get to the morning when I want to wake up and I actually enjoy the day I’m having. But, by going the through motions, I know I’ll get there.
Friends, acquaintances, internet pals and complete strangers have written me lovely and kind notes. THANK YOU SO MUCH for your kindness. I keep thinking I’ll go back in my email and start replying to all of you but then I get stuck because I have no idea what to say except thanks for your caring nature. Please accept this virtual thanks from me to you.
For the past month, while on bed rest, I have been working on my book. I’m just about ready to hand it over to my agent. I’m thankful to have had the time to work on it because I don’t think I could have done it without being forced to. After I finished getting it up on Lulu last year, I swore I would never edit it again. For one thing, it is terribly hard to edit your own work. It’s hard to have perspective because to you, the writer, everything you’ve written is important. Add to that the fact that this book is actually my life. It has been so bizarre to have editors and my agent send me editing notes in emails about ‘the characters’ and ‘the story line.’ The format of the book being what it is has the potential to be confusing to some readers, so there has been careful attention spent on making sure that the transitions are smoother and easier to understand.
But the hardest part for me has been that my strengths in writing do not fall in the creating fictional dialog and characters categories. I’m strongest in retelling events that I have been a part of. And my book is basically just a retelling of my life. 9/10th of it was written by the personalities themselves and now that I’m integrated, those individual voices are gone. To have an editor tell me that ‘this scene isn’t working and needs more dialog between character A and character C’ or ‘let’s have a scene where you learn this information earlier through this particular therapist’ just makes no sense to me. I can’t go back and create dialog that didn’t happen. I can’t make up a therapist and then have events happen that didn’t happen. Maybe if this was a purely fictional book, I could. But I doubt it. I’ve never been that good at fictional writing. Even when I was publishing columns, they were slices of my life that actually happened.
This editing journey, if nothing else, has helped me understand my strengths in writing, which I’m thankful for. Also, I’ve learned how to be strong and assert myself when I’m not comfortable with changes being asked for and made. The end result is a final version of the book that I’m happy with and will have no problem speaking to people about.
And now that the bulk of that is done and I’m no longer required to be on bed rest, it’s time for two things: The gym and a new job. My first time going back to the gym was yesterday. All I did was walk the treadmill for 30 minutes at 4.5 MPH but from the way my body is screaming, you’d think I’d ran a marathon. It’s amazing how fast your body deteriorates.
It feels good to be active again. Another thing to be thankful for.