I’m Trying To Write A Book

 

That's me at Jennifer Louden's writer's retreat in Taos, New Mexico, last summer. It was heavenly! Photo by Kara McGee

As a follow-up to my last post, I found this piece in my locker hooking file and thought I’d share with you some of the OCD silliness and insanity I went through in order to get that book written.  Since I think I may be embarking on writing a memoir, it’s a good reminder of what the work can be like.

5:45 AM How did I get myself into this mess?  Why am I trying to do something so unnatural for me?  If God had meant for me to be a writer, he certainly would have equipped me with so much more than he has.  I find myself not being able to communicate the simplest words to my family.  How can I possibly write a book?

6:00 AM Shut the alarm off.  It’s too late.  I’ve already told everyone I’m going to do it  and once you tell, it’s written in stone.  I’d really like to pretend I didn’t tell and hide here on the side of my mountain and just do something else. Book?  What book?  But I can’t hide from me.

8:30 AM Bill has gone to work, kids to school.  Now what?  Clean up the kitchen, throw the laundry in the machine, water the plants.  There must be something else I need to do.  Call someone.  Talk talk, chatter, chatter.

9:00 AM Okay, I’ll try.  Find a notebook, pens. The laundry needs folding so it won’t get wrinkled sitting in the dryer all day.

10:00 AM The phone … “Yes, I’ll provide paper cups and potato chips for the classroom party next week.” Okay, here I go.  Just one paragraph.  Oh, look at that gorgeous red-tailed hawk.  Get the Binoculars.

10:30 AM The roofer is here to repair a leak.  Okay, a third paragraph.  Doesn’t sound too bad.  At least I know what I mean.  “Yes, I’ll get you a flashlight in a minute” … I’m trying to write.  Why must people do this to me?  Don’t they know I’m busy?  After all, how am I supposed to write this book if I’m always being interrupted.

12:30 PM The roofer is gone.  The leak is a thing of the past.  The mail must be here.  I’ll just walk down to get it.  Nothing important here, just bills and junk mail.   Guess I’ll read the paper.

2:30 PM Only one hour before I have to pick up the kids.  I’ll just try cleaning up this last paragraph a bit.

3:00 PM It looks pretty good so far.  After I’ve made my first million I’ll hire someone to pick up the kids.

4:00 PM Kids home, doing homework.  I’ll just write a bit more.  Get that new idea down on paper while it’s still fresh in my mind.

5:00 PM Bill’s home.  “Look what I’ve done today!  I’ve written the whole first section!” He’s had a bad day.  I don’t want to stop now.  Everyone is hungry.  Bill needs to be at a meeting at 7:30 PM.

8:00 PM Dinner’s done.  Bill is gone.  I’ll go up to the studio and write some more.  The kids are bugging me.    “Please lower the sound on the TV.  No, I didn’t wash your red sweater today.  I’ll get to it tomorrow.  I’ve been busy writing.” They must hate me …

9:00 PM At last.  It feels good to work with words.

9:15 PM Damn, the phone.  “Mom, it’s for you!” Crap!  “No I can’t help out at the Band Booster’s Spagetti dinner on Friday!” I’M WRITING A BOOK!!

Well, I never made a million so couldn’t hire a chauffeur to drive the kids around.  But it was fun!  It was hard!  It was exhausting!  It was rewarding!  It was a great learning experience!  I can’t believe I did it, even now, 19 years later!  And did I say it was fun?

 

This entry was posted in Navigating Through Life, stories. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to I’m Trying To Write A Book

  1. Amelia Goodin says:

    This was just up my alley. I am currently taking my 7th online class in creative writing. My course now is “Write and Publish Your Nonfiction Book”. I am half way through with the course and totally confused. I began writing a biography of my daughter – now I not sure if I should finish this course – but I will I had to pay for it. I love writing and keeping my journals. I love your title “I’m Trying To Write A Book”. That’s what I am TRYING to do – but I’m not sure what I am doing! Any suggestions?

    • jzrart says:

      Amelia,

      Welcome to my blog. I don’t really know what to say, except to follow your heart and write, write, write, read, read, read the kinds of books you are hoping to write. I am no expert on any of this and am as green as you are, really. Like I said in my post, I knew my market well for that book and the rest was luck. Perhaps finding someone local who teaches writing would be better for you. I think on-line classes are fine, but I like face to face contact with a real person for something like writing. I feel I get much more out of it that way.

      I wish I could help more, but I can send you best wishes on getting your project under way.

      Joan

  2. Becca says:

    It’s always fun and interesting to look back on a big project like that and recall how it unfolded. Doing anything constructive during the child-raising years is hard! Good for you for getting it done 🙂

    And good luck with all future writing endeavors.

    • jzrart says:

      Thanks, Becca. Even though the kids are grown and gone, I can still find a million excuses to not do something creative, especially at the beginning of a project. Once I’m under way, I am seem to go with the flow much more easily!!

  3. jzrart says:

    Hey, Joan, I haven’t gone back to look to see if my last comment ever posted, but WordPress (?) was giving me a hard time trying to register. This was over a week ago, and I can’t remember exactly what was happening. Any tips?

    I really like your posts and have wanted to respond to several of them that I connected with — the lost brother for one.

    I am working on a small piece for a Feb 14th contest, but so far it is a total piece of crap, you know?

    Gail

    • jzrart says:

      Gail,

      For some reason this didn’t post automatically. I copied it from the email I get from WordPress when a new comment is posted and printed it here for you. Just keep trying and I’m sure it will work!

      I do so appreciate your comments. Having heard you read some of your work, I cannot believe the piece you’re working on is crap! You are a powerful writer. Yes, we all do write crap more than we like to, but sometimes it takes letting a piece rest and returning to it later to see where it should go.

  4. Love this Mom… and oh, how I find myself in your words these days! Tee hee…

  5. shirleyhs says:

    Lucky you to work with Jennifer Louden–and in Taos, at that! Willa Cather is one of my favorite writers, and the Southwest is a place of great spiritual presence conducive to all creative activity.

    Loved your description of the ways writers put off and resist the work. Happens to me, too!

    • jzrart says:

      Thanks for visiting my blog, Shirley. Yeah, that resistance stuff is the number one enemy for me and I find it is there waiting to pounce whenever I come up with new and exciting ideas!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s