I am surprised. I’ve had relatively little fallout/backlash from sending the memoir out to the publisher. Sending it to my writing group was worse. Every time I talk to someone about it or make changes someone sees, yes, it’s a little nutty. But… no screaming awake. No crying jags. No being pissed off and not knowing wtf is wrong.
There’s various pieces of consensus: there are still a few typos. There are some stylistic things I did which every single editor has pointed out. The last half isn’t as well written as the first.
That last didn’t surprise me at all. The first half is what took 10 years to write; it’s the map to my particular Hell. The last half was difficult because I just couldn’t see how to write it so it wasn’t a total bore. There’s a reason “They lived happily ever after.” is one sentence. But I needed to show the unraveling of the PTSD and healing that allowed that to happen. I needed to show that it wasn’t a straight line. I needed to illustrate that the process is not done and never will be.
That all took some doing. I only sort of really knew what book I was writing, what the arc of it really was when I sat down last month and decided to pull it together as I did. For one reason only. It had to be the best, most concise piece I could write and present to my publisher. I finally could look at it with my professional eyes, rather than through the lens of the wounded kid with PTSD.
I have no idea what happened that made that possible, but it was.
Posted in Books, Creativity, editing, English, finished projects!, Goals, healing, Memoir, organization, projects, psychological stuff, PTSD, publication, self-interest, unexpected results, writing, writing problems
Tagged changes, memoir, memoir issuees, memoir retype
One sensible suggestion made by an editor friend was that I may have to simply retype the memoir to get a clean, uncorrupted file.
With that in mind, I retyped the front matter and chapter 1 this week, 10 pages total. It took me about 2 hours. The entire thing is about 90 pages total, which means, assuming that I type at approx. the same rate, it will take me about 18 hours to retype the entire thing, or 16 more hours to finish it.
I expect the remainder will be faster than the first 10 pages because there are no title or half title pages, no dedication, no author’s word, just text and some illustrations. Call it 100 pages by the time I add a back cover and the illustrations inside. That’s still only 18 more hours, and it could save me an incredible amount of fighting with the vestiges of multiple edits, multiple sources, multiple computers and software.
I was afraid that I would go through an emotional rollercoaster retyping the first chapter. But I will say that it’s an indication of how much I’ve healed — that didn’t happen.
What pushed on me was the ever-growing “in memoriam” list in the dedication. I’ve added two people in just the last six months. Mind, there is only one person in the dedication I don’t actually know, Paul McCartney. He’s there for “Hey Jude,” as I couldn’t have written the thing if I’d jumped off that cliff long ago. I didn’t because of “Hey Jude,” so I think he belongs in the dedication. But, as I said, he’s the only person named there I haven’t met.
Hey, guess what world?
I can actually grow up at some point!
Having a career/life which isn’t based on being a wounded child is a new outlook for me. I’m a bit apprehensive and jazzed, as I think I should be.