For the last three weeks, I have been furiously working with my editor, Karen Schindler, on the final edits to my manuscript: GYROSCOPE: An Alzheimer's Love Story, before sending it off to the publisher. They requested a look at the manuscript and we will see if they like it well enough to option the book.
The editing journey has been a good one and for the first time in my life I am actually enjoying the journey, not fretting through it until I arrive at the end. "The journey is all there really is," is a truth that is beginning to make sense to me.
During this editing process I have felt real. I can say I am a writer and I believe it. I have believed that since I attended the artist residency at The Ragdale Foundation last January. The actual writing, editing, knowing what I think about my writing etc makes me feel even more real. I read my work and like how it sounds, what it has to say.
As far as the book, I have no expectations and will not take a rejection personally because I do know that is part of the game. I have hopes, but they are under control.
Another thing I have become aware of currently is that when I read other people's work, I feel inferior. I compare myself. I read a poem and think my work sucks. I read a story and think my work is sophomoric. I see a photograph and think mine are just snap shots.
I know my feelings of inferiority are not true but the FRAUD COMPLEX takes over. Friends and family enjoy what I write but the FRAUD COMPLEX takes over. The publisher read my query letter and it interested them enough that they requested to see my manuscript but the FRAUD COMPLEX TAKES OVER.
As soon as those feelings pop up, I literally raise my hand to the air and say, "STOP thinking like that!" As a way of putting these feelings to rest I exaggerate them. "Who would want to read this smelly crap anyway. No one in their right mind would pay a penny to buy this stuff. Only good to use as toilet paper or to make a paper airplane. What a waste of good paper and ink."
And I begin to smile. And I chuckle. And I laugh. Instead of letting these feelings hide out in the background and affect my mood and my work, I have been raising them to the level of awareness, a laughing awareness. And as for the rest … time will tell. (Oops was that trite?)