Saturday, January 25, 2014

Self-Help & Starting Over

I'm writing a book right now.  I've kept it mostly to myself, I think I've let three people read it so far.  It's currently in a Google Doc, and I had allowed two close friends to have the power of the "Share" button, so they could read what I was writing and editing.  But today I stopped sharing.  Because my book that was intended to be lovely and beautiful and small pieces of me poured out all over pages and pages and pages sounded more like a cheap self-help book that you'd find in the clearance section at Barnes and Noble.

And I couldn't stand it.  So today, I deleted the dear friends who were gracious and kind enough to read my first few horrible pages of the wretched self-help book.  I took a very dramatic deep breath, and I deleted every word I had typed, save one paragraph.  I'm beginning again, and my manuscript is now down to one measly page.  But I'm ok with it, because that one page sounds more like me than the ten others that were part of the original book.  I had this idea in my mind that sounded so lovely, but the book ended up sounding rehearsed, forced, and like I was speaking to an audience that didn't quite get me.  I read back through a lot of old blogs today for inspiration, and I got back on track with what I originally wanted to write about.

I read through introductions to some of my very favorite non-fiction books, and I flipped through the blog of my kindred spirit of the writing world, Shauna Niequist.  I think she is entirely lovely and a beautiful writer, and I am by no means saying I'm anything like her.  But I sense the same freeness and stream of consciousness-eque tone to her writing, and it feels like home when I'm in one of her books.  Her writing style is similar to mine, her values and opinions on many things, and it feels like I'm sitting in a coffee shop with an older, wiser, more mature writer version of me when I'm in her books.

So I'll begin again with my little manuscript and I will write with the same passion and love for the written word that I do when I write my blog posts; and I'll try my very best not to sound like Dr. Phil this time around.  I'd so appreciate your prayers, sweet friends.  Writing a book may seem so silly when I'm barely keeping my head above water with switching jobs, adjusting to my new city, planning a wedding, and preparing for our marriage, but writing is my outlet and my sanity on most days.

Lots of love to you all, and thanks for your support, as always.  You're rockstars.


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