The process of writing a book is quite possibly the most overwhelming commitment I have ever made. In the 2005, I sat lonely in my apartment, looking down on Williamson Street. I was listening to Michael Franti loudly enough to mask the sounds of the traffic below and the vibrating tattoo guns in action downstairs at Steve’s Tattoo. An idea popped into my head as clearly and suddenly as if a customer had left Steve’s and let go of a helium balloon that then showed itself in my second story window frame. Write a book about Senegal to thank the Rotarians who sent me there.
For the past three years, that helium idea has been floating around in my head. I will go on binges, writing voraciously for days or weeks, and then I will purge for weeks and months, doing everything I can but writing and feeling guilty the whole while.
But I am learning: learning to be easy on myself; learning that sitting down and writing is the hardest and most important step; learning that running a marathon is a cinch compared to writing a book. I am also learning that leaving myself funny notes in first drafts is a sure way to lighten my mood when I am later editing. Here are two that I found this evening, embedded in some pretty-crappy-first-draft-text.
Insert something totally snarky and awesome and funny and thought- provoking here.
[THIS IS GOOD, ACTUALLY. OBVIOUSLY, IT NEEDS TO BE PARED DOWN WITH SOME TYPE OF EDITING MACHETE, BUT OTHER THAN THAT, THE FORM IS GOOD.]
Today, I am grateful for a productive writing session.