now go and write the final chapter

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?

Panic

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.

 

Fear

 

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.

 

Confusion

 

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)

11 Comments

  1. Yes. Yes to all of this. I am all the more drawn to memoir writers because we must be stronger than we knew possible in order to reveal and share our authentic journey. It is often frightening, but we must face the fear and let the process open us to more light. I look forward to reading your book.

  2. The same as I do, now, really.

    You’re right, confidence means a lot, and I have that.

    And it isn’t about failing, anyway, but constantly trying, about the road, not the goal and so on.

    I’ve never had any problems with the ending or the beginning or anything concerning writing, really.

    There are hurdles that must be crossed, pieces that must fit the puzzle somewhat, but that’s just a welcomed challenge.

  3. I am confident that an ending will come…..they always do. I have been thinking lately about where this book will belong in a book store….spiritual, self help, memoirs, local writers, staff picks, best sellers…..keep in mind as well that there are lots of different kinds of readers out there…you will touch the ones you are meant to touch with your writing and that is all that counts….mothers will be changed by your story, just as your story has changed you. lovelove.

  4. Hi Mo – as you know I’ve been where you are many times and yes, the fear is very real. The insecurities are suffocating by times and panic attacks are not unlikely. However, I had to remind myself WHY I started to write in the first place. For me, it was an escape – a place to go to when world let me down for whatever reason and where I could control the events in someone’s life as I can’t my own. This of course doesn’t count with you writing non-fiction, but it’s also healing – which is where I believe your panic comes from. What happens after you let go of the story? What then? Do you stop thinking about it? Are you supposed to be cured? Of course not. And your story will be beautifully written because you have a beautiful soul. The way you look at life, and people, is how you will write your story. And if people don’t like it – it’s their loss. I’ve had bad reviews that made me close up and refuse to write again, but I had to retreat inside and tell myself that at the end of the day there are only a handful of people in this world whose opinion mean something to me – and that reviewer wasn’t one of them. It was the people stopping me on the street telling me they loved my writing – it’s people still stopping me now asking when the next one is coming. People will be healed by your words, and if nothing else, they won’t feel alone in their emotions as they struggle with what you went through.

    You will be okay and you will finish this. Sometimes leaving it for a few days can make it just come…. just don’t let it go because you will regret it. I believe in you!!

  5. …if i knew i could not fail. huh.

    i suppose i would throw my love in front of my fear a lot more. an amazing post, Moe. and i think the panic towards the end of things? is part of any creative process – for me, at least, it’s always about the closing of that window, the last throes of what might need to attach itself to that particular piece.

  6. The last chapter……closure……grief…it’s probably as raw and real as it was months ago…write,rewrite until it feels good… I believe in you…Love Liz

  7. To our beautiful creative daughter….let the muse work as it will….share with the world what you have shared with us….the last chapter is a path to a new beginning.We love you. Mom and Dad.

  8. You can do it! When we finished our children’s picture book we were thrilled. Even though it still ended up being critiqued and edited by us quite a few more times. You have a major emotional tie to your book. So I feel it will be a little different than if you were just writing about gardening or cooking. Your book is part of you and what you went through. What a blessing to have this process to help you move through a tremendous life soul shaping experience and to celebrate the beauty of the child who blessed your life for such a short visit. A child who will forever be apart of you.
    ~ Carol
    http://www.intentionalconsciousparenting.com

  9. Mo,

    The timing of this is perect for me as I am at the baginning of the process of writing my first book.

    We are not the controllers of time for the wind shall blow and the rain shall fall even if we give no permission at all.

    The end of the book is your permission to go forward you open new doors to peek into tomorrow. And then….well perhaps….and then you find a new kind of joy and special brand of hope for you will have released a special piece of your heart for others to hold on to for thier own journey of pain, recovery and release.

    Looking forward to buying a copy.

    blessings and hope,
    Robbin

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