Till I turn 30.
No that’s not the point of this post. (But now you know, doncha.)
I’m nearly done with my final sweep. It’s come the same week as Jay’s been working longer hours, but God has been providing an encouraging ballance, so even with Jay gone more I haven’t been particularly slowed down.
(Though I did read a book yesterday, and that was refreshing.)
Still haven’t figured out what to do with Garm (Linnea’s sheep dog) for the end. Jay said he should die somewhere while he’s out on the quest with Kennett, which really would solve all our problems… But mostly I’m resisting because I don’t want to waste emotional capital when there’s so many more significant things going on.
And I told Jay last night that I’m getting cold feet about sending my story out to be read by half a dozen near-strangers. His loving supportive response:
Get over it.
Which, of course, was the right thing to say. The main trouble is releasing it knowing readers will find flaws. Which will prove I’ve missed some.
I don’t think I pretend to be perfect, but with writing and rewriting I’ve sort of grown to feel that illusions of (near) perfection in a final product are appropriate. And I realize I’m not going to be there, and that’s going to be disappointing to me.
And I need to get over it.
More than looking good myself, I want the story to look good, so that means handing it to people who will tell me what needs to be fixed. What I’ve missed.
Though I will admit that my deepest fear is that somebody, very honest and apologetic, will tell me to be thankful only 6 people saw it because most of the story needs to be scrapped.
Wait! Tomorrow is your birthday. Oh I’m mailing your prize this week. I wanted to do everyone’s at once.
I thought I was older than you!!!
No, you’re just more mature because you’re all professional and stuff :)
But here I thought we got this figured out last year– you were turning 29 the same year as me, just later.
It’s your birthday in Michigan! Happy Birthday!
Wow, happy birthday! I hope it is great. And. . . would it be easier for you to share your book with people you know? Personally, I like to be “daring” with people I don’t know because *ahem* I’ll never see them again, so it doesn’t bother me as much to make a fool of myself. (Of course, making a fool of myself is MUCH different than writing a book.)
It’s a mixed thing. Except for my husband, no one reading it is “close-close,” and in that way I hope to keep a bit separate their treatment of the story and how I perceive they value me.
That is, I know my mom values me no matter what, but I’m not ready for her to see my work because if her opinion of it is very different than mine I will have issues. With… something. In an “It’s not you, it’s me” way that I have not been able to articulate yet.
Everyone who has agreed to read it is someone who’s opinion/expertise I respect, but there’s not the emotional weight of, I dunno, showing the latest grandchild, I guess.
About the making a fool of myself, I think it was Edna St. Vincent Millay who said something like, “Anyone who publishes a book appears before the public with his pants down. If it is a good book, nothing can harm him. If it is a bad book, nothing can save him.”
Really this may be my problem: I have too much of an either-or mentality. If I could wrap my mind around the idea of an invisible middle I wonder if I’d want to be there.
Does it ever make you feel better to read some of the drivel that’s been published? Not that I recommend comparing yourself with others in a prideful way, just that *knowing* what you’ve done is better than other things that have been published, and knowing you have a good shot.
Drivel doesn’t make me feel better, but reading something that feels “good enough” without being perfect, that makes me hopeful.
The lame stuff (I tell myself) gets out for lame reasons like politics or luck, while the “good enough” stuff is sort of where I see myself. A good enough book is one that is imperfect but making a strong showing, and its merits got itself published.
This is the category I hope to be in.
I honestly think that yours will be a good book. I can see the heart you’ve put in to it over and over. Good luck on these initial readings!