Over the past several weeks, events in my personal life have reached a crescendo of sorts. Something that I have had building within me for a long time- years maybe- has broken, and now the lid can’t be put back on Pandora’s box. I’ve decided to write a book.
Ironically this isn’t a book about these recent events. It isn’t even a book about the whole garden debacle. Over the years I have been approached to write about the Garden Thing, to write about The Blog, to write about this and that, but the timing has never felt right and writing about those topics more than what I’ve done here just hasn’t felt genuine. I even tried once to sit down and produce a book, but it was a dozen drafts of an utter flop, which I stopped with no true investment of myself.
This is different.
When I was about 12 I entered a writing contest with a poem that began, “When I look into the evening sky, I hope and wish and pray I’ll die.” Not very cheery stuff, because my life was kind of a wreck at the time, but I still remember what happened when I sat down to write. I hadn’t been a write-y type. But it seemed the teenage girl thing to do when your heart was breaking and you had nowhere to go with your emotions. So I grabbed a notebook and started writing. And 4 single-spaced pages later, I was in a blissed-out state of calm unlike any I had known. I still had nobody to talk to and I was still just as alone in the world, but I didn’t FEEL alone any more. I felt full. I felt in control of my destiny. I felt BETTER. That was new for me. Julie the writer was born.
Not that this means I flatter myself a Writer, by any means. This is only to say that the way that some teens get their identity as a Punk or Goth or gang-banger, I became a closet writing-fiend. I knew I could solve anything by writing about it, and even now when I am in knots over what to do, I will often write it down (often here on the blog!) so I can get more clarity.
The way some people are visual thinkers, I am a verbal thinker. I will literally write in my brain. I will compose letters to people that I never type. I will write to-do lists that never appear in ink. I write when I’m in the shower and when I’m washing dishes. I write when I’m alone and when I’m zoning out of a conversation. If I really wrote all that I wrote, the protectors of the trees would have to hunt me down and kill me.
So now that I am a person of a certain age, I have taken a certain plunge. I have gotten a used laptop, and as soon as I get a word program, I can start typing away (but since I chomp at the bit, I’ve already started writing in a notebook). I have a computer drive thing (who knows what they are called?) shaped like a chicken (of course) just waiting to store pages and pages of endless, well, pages… I have committed that this laptop will be just for me- no kids’ games, no, “Can I just do ______________ on your laptop?” I have no idea how long this project will take, since I have obviously never written a book before. I have no idea if any publishers will talk to me, or if I will self-publish, and frankly I am not even worried about that right now. Right now it is all about the drug of the writing.
Should I spoiler-alert and tell you what it’s about? I won’t- but I will tell you that it’s a novel. I will tell you that it’s unlike anything I ever thought I would undertake. And I will tell you that so far the process of writing continues to be absolutely magical for me. I hope you will all wish me the best of luck!