I did. I wrote a book. It’s not a published book. Yet. It’s not a book with a cover or a spine or an intro by a famous person. But it’s a book. A novel.
I started this book over six years ago. I thought it was five, but I realized I started it before I met Todd. It’s actually a combination of two very disparate ideas; one, a novel about a small town and a local DJ I started during one of the earlier NaNoWriMos and the other just three pages I wrote as part of a creative thinking exercise. I married the two and six years later, they made it official. They became a book.
Maybe this novel will get published. Maybe it won’t. Maybe I’ll find an agent who wants to help me sell it. Maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll get 22 rejection slips and one “we’ll get back to you.” Maybe I’ll find someone who loves it. Maybe I’ll get rich and famous off of it. Most likely, I won’t.
But here’s the thing: I wrote a book. And, as my dear friend Mike just said to me, no one can take that away from me. I started and finished a novel. I put together characters and locations and plot lines and made them work. There’s a beginning, middle and end. I finished something I started.
That is huge. I’m usually much better at abandoning things I start rather than finishing them.
The other big thing is I stopped being afraid of sending the novel out to prospective agents/publishers. I’m not afraid of it failing. I’m not afraid of it succeeding. Once I finished it, once I wrote THE END, it was like the fear of the entire process was lifted from me. I had a “Fuck you, you can’t take this from me” moment. Maybe you’ll like it. Maybe you’ll hate it. Maybe you will have a good laugh around the office reading samples out loud. Maybe you’ll want to know what else I can give you after this one is published.
Doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter at all. The only thing that matters to me right now is that I finished a novel. I wrote a book. I wrote a motherfucking book. I agonized over this story. I dreamed about it. I have lived with these characters and the town they live for so long they are real to me. I felt guilty when I had to kill some of them off. I felt proud of some of their actions. I felt ashamed for them. Because even though I was doing the writing, they had become so real, they were writing their own words and actions at some point.
I know how weird that sounds.
I cried when I finished it yesterday. Relief. Pride. Sadness that my creative time with the characters was done and the harsher times of having to edit their words and actions was upon me. An emotional moment that was a big “fuck you” to everyone who said I would never finish it, including myself. And a big “thank you” to everyone who gave me support and encouragement.
I wrote a book.
It may get published.
It may not.
Either way, this was one of the biggest accomplishments of my life.
I wrote a fucking book. And no one can take that away from me. Not even the person who says “Yea, you wrote a book, but did anyone read it?” Not even that person can take this away from me.
Yea, publishing a book is a lot different than writing a book. But screw that. I had a goal. I achieved it. And I’m going to revel in that regardless of what happens from here.
Six freaking years.
She wrote a hysterical, strange and totally satisfying book! True story.