Monday, April 11, 2011

A promise to myself.

So I told someone else about my book last night. She's the one person that I decided from the get-go that would be the only person I could trust to read it and give me constructive criticism. It was so nerve racking. We'd gone to see a movie (The new Jane Eyre, which I loved) and we were having dinner afterward, I'd been considering telling her since the night before. I went back and forth, back and forth. Afraid that if I told her I'd jinx myself that somehow all the ideas would drain from my head and then it would be as I feared just a phase. Not something real. So as we sat there munching away on our salads watching everyone cruise the loop, I began to sweat and I told her, "I have a secret I want to tell you." Her eyes were huge with wonder. Immediately I eliminated one of her thoughts, "and no, I'm not pregnant." I think she'd been holding her breath the way she exhaled. So as I sat there mustering up the courage to finishing telling her my secret she waited almost becoming impatient. I apologized and said it was just hard to say but assured her it wasn't anything bad then she corrected me, "what might be great for you could be bad for everyone else. You're not moving are you?" I laughed and told her no. I told her that my secret would not affect anyone or change anything. So as I sat there taking a deep breath feeling the breeze under my arms grow cooler against their sweating I began, "Now, I'm sure you're first response would be to laugh at me because I would certainly laugh at someone who told me this. Not in cruel way but in a "sure you are... " kind of way." Her eyes begged me to tell her already. I told her "I know, I know, I'm getting to it. Now I've built it up to be this big thing and it's really not." I took one more deep breath and closed my eyes, "I'm writing a book." And of course her response was supportive and happy, she thought it was great. "Why would I laugh at that?" she exclaimed. I told her because in my mind if someone told me that I'd think "sure... and next week you'll be a sculpture artist and the week after that you can be a cowboy." But she was supportive as I knew she would be and asking what the book was about. I told her I'd started it last July and the first couple of months just seemed to be research. I told her I only had fifteen chapters, that when I hit a wall I'd have to do more research. I confided in her my fear of lack of education and poor writing abilities. She urged me to not let my fear of that stop me and to  keep reading other books and reminded me the best writers are readers. So as she drove me home I told her about my story. Now the only other person than myself to know the story. I was afraid to tell anyone premature, afraid they would only think I was doing it for the attention. I babbled away on the drive home, jumping from one detail to the next, from one character to the next. She would occasionally ask questions about my story and I always had an answer. I almost felt like I was telling her a story of something that happened to me. So as she dropped me off at my house I asked her what she thought of my story. She told me she loved it and looked forward to reading it. She said she was impressed with all the research I'd done and how many actual historical facts I'd included. I was relieved. Not at her approval but that what I thought was a great story, indeed sounded like a great story to someone else. We said our goodbyes and I walked in my house, anxious to write. I think I only banged out a couple pages but it was a couple pages more than what I had. And when I finally went to bed, I tossed and turned as the ideas floated in and out of my head the ideas turned to dreams but of course when I woke they were fuzzy and random only bits and pieces of the ideas they started as. But that tells me one thing, my subconscious is as excited as my conscious...
I'm reminded now of last week when I googled for more help on  writing and I came across a blog by Scott Berkun. The blog was titled "Is your book idea good?" His answer? Yes, I promise. If it excited you and captivates you  it will do the same to others. As I went back over the evening in my mind listening to my story being told out loud it excited me all over again and confirmed my feelings and now only drives me to finish it. I know it won't happen over night and it might take another year but I will. I'm promising myself.

No comments:

Post a Comment