Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Self-Inflicted Wounds

Tending to Self- Inflicted Wounds

Have you ever read a book that was terrible? A book where the writing was so awful YOU wish YOU HAD NEVER WRITTEN IT? 

That’s right. I recently read a book I wrote a few years ago. I was sure it was pretty good... but might need a little work. 

A little? I know what I had in mind…except I was probably a little out of my mind when it came to putting the story on paper. 

The truth is...this was a book I had just started writing the week Tom died. That was in October of 2014. Nearly ten years ago. It was always hanging over me like a half painted living room ceiling. I “finished” the book in 2021 and sent it to a publisher. The editors who read it were kind but honest. 

Brutally honest. But that’s what I needed.

They basically said the book has potential…with a lot of work. I put it away. Out of sight. Out of mind. In the meantime, I had a few “fits and starts” for a couple of other books, but lacked the motivation to make them happen.

As most of my readers know, I remarried in 2023. Mike is a good man. He encourages me in my writing. I know that is a blessing. I find myself interested in crafting more than my blog now. 

I recently took inventory. I have three novels at various stages of development. In that dark time of my life I would have an idea, scratch out forty or fifty thousand words, become distracted, and abandon the project all together. 

Now? Anything is possible.

With that confidence, I printed the novel I pitched to those publishers in 2021 and started reading it again, cutting it apart (literally), and trying to make sense of it. 

A Cut, Toss, and Paste
Novel...of sorts.
This is how some of us write!

I re-read the email the editor sent me. She offered a few options I could try. She never mentioned the fact there were entire portions missing valuable information and some of the text simply didn’t make sense. 

I suppose she figured those issues would be resolved in a rewrite anyway and didn’t want to overwhelm me. 

Not to worry. I was already overwhelmed. Simply getting the book off my plate was a relief. When it came back with a rejection, I set it aside.  Until now.

Now I am ready. Now I am reading the comments the editor offered with new appreciation. 

The book may take a totally different turn. I don’t know. What I do know is that I am writing again and it feels good.

P.S. I talked with that editor from Mt. Zion Ridge Press before publishing this. I apologized for sending her such a goofy manuscript. She gets it...and she knew that was a tender time in my life. Armed with her words of confidence in what the book could be, I am tackling the story from a different angle. And I am reminding myself we are all on this journey together. 



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