Friday, March 16, 2012

Book Writing and Fear of the Unknown

   I have decided. Decided, that I am going to begin work on a book. It wasn't easy... the deciding that is. It is often one of the hardest parts of life. Deciding to start. But then again this whole starting business seems pretty daunting too. As does the long term work of it. Seeing through the emotional roller coaster that will come with digging in to my past. Opening that big scary door I keep it all behind, in the back of my head. It's a heavy metal door with one of those really intimidating steampunk style, crank-turn locking mechanisms. The kind that seem to require a lot of upper body strength to open. That or a really intricate system of levers and secret keys.

   You see, what I will be writing about is me. And I don't feel like I know me very well. Who am I to be writing a book? How is my experience unique enough to be worthy of yet other autobiography on the shelves of your local bookstore? And can I really handle going back there? Reliving it all enough to be able to retell it? Am I really strong enough for that? I don't feel like I am. And how will I remember enough to piece together a cohesive memoir, when I have forgotten so much of it already? At 25. I've forgotten. And what I remember I don't trust. I don't trust it because of my knowledge of the fickleness that is memory, and because of I don't quite trust myself. I don't know for sure what I really experienced, what I merely think I experienced and what I flat out made up in my mind that has come to present itself as real as the rest.

   What if the people I knew then pick up the finished product expecting in some way a reflection of what they know of me now, only to find shock and horror at the things that I've managed to dig up that they never knew about. Things I never told them because I had forgotten. Or was too scared. Or felt that I had already gone too far. What if I hurt them again? Or myself? What if I can't break free once I go back seeking to remember what I thought and felt, but instead I wind up thinking and feeling those things all over again? What if some of the "characters" who are crucial to my story that didn't stick around, pick up my book and proclaim to the world that I am a fraud because they are unhappy with what they read? Or quite possibly because I am a fraud in the sense that my memories of them are in fact inaccurate, due to the years, a cloudy memory, or my admitted craziness at the time that caused me to see them differently than they were. What if I have to go through a whole second process of amends after the book because of how it affects those who read it?

   Where do I start?

   Where do I stop?

   I am flat out scared... But... but.

   I know that the fear is because I need this. I wouldn't be scared if it wasn't something I wasn't supposed to do. Not this kind of fear anyways. This isn't the brand of fear that is meant to warn me that I'm about to fall off a cliff or get bit by a snake. This is the type of fear that only exists in the face of a meaningful task. A significant, and essentially necessary journey. This is the type of fear that I must follow... because it means that I am drawing closer to my calling. I am making the Evil One scared. I am on the right path. A path I can't so much see, as sense.

   All signs are telling me that I need to start now. That though I can't see the path, it will unfold before me only if I take a step. Only if I apply pressure to the wound that has been growing upon my soul. I can't lick it any longer. The bleeding will only stop if I go straight to where it hurts most, and close the opening stitch by stitch. So many people, without realizing it, have encouraged me over these past few months. I have received the book question from many people both close and near. People who know my past and people who barely know me at all save for my current writings here on the blog. And that is the least of it. The road markers have been too innumerable to measure. It's time.

  And so, I will still be writing here. In much the same way that I have been. But keep in the back of your mind that I will also be storing away certain pieces as I go. Some I will publish online, but most I won't. I will work memory by memory as they arise. I will write each individual one to completion and then set it aside. Eventually it will add up to a complete account. It could be months. More likely years. In this decade I hope... only, God knows. But, someday it will become available to you. My dear sweet readers of whom I am extremely grateful.

   Have patience with me in this time, and please, continue to come here as you are inspired to do so, and read about how this is taking over an transforming my life. Tell me how your story is doing the same for you. We can traverse our own separate journeys together in this way. Drawing on our pasts where needed to create a new and special future.

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