So here I am five months into the editorial process and facing writing the last chapter and epilogue of the Tya Chronicles, my memoir of motherhood and loss. But for some reason I’m at a standstill, sitting at the edge and gazing into the abyss, and thinking about what happens at the end of this book.But I am somehow a little tired and a little distracted. Why?
Here’s a little emerging writer insight for you. The things that happen at the end of the book are: panic, fear, and confusion. Other writers? Help! Will this always happen? Is this a good thing?
Meditative breathing seems to calm the panic. But where the words will go, still I don’t exactly know. I must trust that the industry wants this book, and needs this book, and that it’s the sharing of a brave and powerful experience.
Crack down on panic. I reach out to panic by becoming consciously aware of my publication needs. And I have learned some key things by following the brilliants on twitter on publication and industry trends. Number one is the query letter. Learn about it and honor it. Number two, format the damn manuscript. This one is keeping me up at night. And number three I learned from my wonderful, amazing editor: just keep writing and don’t dare stop.
The big one here is What if people don’t like it? Okay. Let’s deal with that. So, what if people don’t like it? Deep breath. The butterflies are starting just thinking about it. Uh-oh. My heart is starting to race. People hate things all the time. What am I going to do about it? Nothing.
This brings me back to a sticker I got shortly after 9/11, which I still laugh at and believe. It reads L’Amour Arrète la Terreur (or in English – Love Stops Terror).
The point here is the same: Throw your love in front of your fear.
The main confusion for me is that, since it’s a memoir, something will be misrepresented or misunderstood. This I can’t do much about, since the story is written from my perspective. But unfortunately that’s the only perspective I have.
And What if it’s not good enough is more confusing still! . I’m conquering confusion and doubt with pro-activity. I have learned a lot on this road to publication, as per a writer’s voice, but the biggest thing is that one must begin somewhere. And I think that I’ve done that, I think that I’ve started. And it seems I am indeed on a roll.
Trusting myself, trusting my work
What else happens at the end of the book? I’m hoping for reflection and peace. What did I learn? What are we here? Big questions are being raised, questions bigger than Why did I lose my baby girl at thirty-nine weeks?
In this process I have personally evolved, melted into this process of grief and into a peaceful transformation into a more aware, more mature being. I’ve melted into the great beyond. I’ve melted into myself. And it’s been something spiritual and something beautiful.
And as Leila sits beside me watching Barbie and the Diamond Castle, I am reminded of a few life lessons. Everyone gets their day on stage, and everyone gets their chance to shine. She thinks she’s a princess, for chrissakes.
And I trust that mine will come, that this book will find its way into the world.
And now I put the question to YOU, my brave and hopeful readers:
(Taken from an inspirational fridge magnet at my cousin josie’s house)