I have written the ending to my book. Or, rather, I have written it again. I have now revised each chapter 20-40 times, until the language, sentiment and plot of as interesting to me as watching Koyaanisqatsi without the aid of any hallucinogenic drugs. It is too long. Far too long. And I wonder what parts of my life I will ultimately deem "unnecessary to the plot." This is the story of my life so far—a memoir—because certainly what the world needs most is more memoirs, you will agree. I can do nothing but give the world what it needs. I am called to serve.
I have passed through the predictable stages of writer's schizophrenia which have first caused me to suffer from the belief that what I have here is a work of shocking genius ready to be set on the shelf next to my favorites: Lamott, Sedaris, and Melton; to take its place in the canon of literature which, in a bold, new way, illumines the human soul. "A victory," the review will say. Next, I have realized that what I have here is the carcass of a toad: stinking, in a state of ego-fueled, narcissistic decomposition, an embarrassment to everyone around. Then, I have thought: "Meh."
But—here's the thing: I have finished something. Until my eldest child reaches the age at which he can be, at least legally, said to be adult enough to leave my home, I have otherwise finished nothing of length or import. I have dropped out, left early and quit everything without fulfilling on what some especially kind people have called "my potential." Now, you see, I have finished a book. Out of respect for those of you with more sensitive natures than mine, I will be polite and refrain from calling it what I truthfully meant to call it, which was a mo$#erf&&king book.
I finished a book!
It is, as I have said, too long. And I want to run it by what they call BETA readers, which are the people who will read my manuscript and tell me exactly and specifically in which way they think it sucks. I did this once and was promised a copy of the book when published. As a volunteer gig, it was kind of fun; like eating pizza and saying "Push!" at someone else's birth.
After the BETA reading bit, I have to try and convince someone at a publishing house, who has sold his soul to Satan in exchange for a red pen, that this is something someone would want to buy. I am not, to say the least, looking forward to this. My relationship to promoting myself is similar to Ted Kaczynski's. I like to deliver my words in plain-looking packages and separate letters explaining what I am about. I hope these will have an impact on the world, but I like to maintain my privacy. The thought of a book proposal makes me physically ill.
Besides, I'm not sure anyone would want to buy it. Why would they, when they could spend their money on thneeds?
Privacy is a concern. It is all good and well when you are sitting at home writing your innermost thoughts onto Microsoft Word, but it is not so well when you imagine several thousand someones reading them. And the criticism! "The author cannot seem to make up her mind about who she is," I imagine that they'll say. "Profoundly full of herself." "Pretending to be wise." I can only imagine that I will have to plead guilty as charged.
Of course, more likely, I will simply receive a form letter: "Game Over. Thank You For Playing."
At any rate, like all achievements, the book was more fun when it wasn't done than it is now.
That said, I am doing this anyway. Because—
I wrote a mo$#erf&&king book.