Monday, May 30, 2016

Being Done

It's weird. I thought I was going through a lonely period. I've been back in a state for the last week or so of needing constant cuddles and feeling lonely whenever someone wasn't with me, even after having lots of fun and spending lots of time together. I haven't felt that way for a while and I wasn't sure why that feeling came back again. I was actually starting to miss my ex and just wanting someone to be there when I woke up in the morning. But this morning I figured it out. I figured out what's actually wrong. I'm sad because I finished my book, and I want to be working on it. My book was a huge part of my life for so long and I feel empty inside without it.

The good news is that I am not quite done editing, my friend Eli has been giving me very specific edits, so there is a lot more work that I can still do. I can even write my acknowledgements section, and maybe even starting writing my pitch letter for the book. I was hoping to take a slightly longer break before returning to the book because I'm at a point where I have most of it practically memorized, so it's hard for me to recognize my own mistakes because I just read right over them with what I know it should say. But I have had a bit of a break, and emotionally, I don't feel like I want to wait any longer. Here are the things I can still do to work on my book:

1. Go through Eli's edits.
2. Go through the book again on my own to proofread for mistakes I've missed. (Do this after Eli's edits, since Eli has caught a lot of mistakes already).
3. Write my acknowledgements section.
4. Start researching how to get the book published, and what I need for my pitch letter.
5. Make a list of books to reference in my pitch letter.
6. Make a list of publishers to submit the book to.
7. Start submitting!!!!!!!!!!

My parents won't be able to read the book until next week, and my mom gives me good feedback, so I don't really want to start sending it out before I get her feedback, but I can do a lot more editing before my mom gets to read it, which would make her feedback more helpful because she wouldn't just be telling me about all the mistakes that Eli already pointed out. So I'll focus on editing and finishing to a certain level before she is able to read it. That's good. That makes me feel better. I need to have goals about my book all the time.

I think that in my acknowledgements section, I should mention people twice if they've given moral support and also given me technical editing feedback. I was originally going to start with moral support and work my way up to the people who have literally helped me edit the book, but it doesn't feel right that 1). I'm counting edit help as more important than moral support, and 2). That the people who have given me the most editing help have also given me the most moral support, and I don't want to reduce all the help they've given me to just the technical feedback. For me, the lines between giving literal feedback on the book and moral support are really blurred, it feels like practically the same thing to me, but I know how to separate it in the acknowledgements. I'll start by thanking everyone for technical feedback, then have a next paragraph where I thank people for moral support. This is also practical because once I get a publisher, I may be working with professional editors whom I would want to thank in my acknowledgement, but I would not necessarily classify their work as moral support like what my friends have done for me.

When you're writing a pitch letter, it's typical to compare your book to other books like it that are in the market, and then say what your book provides that isn't out there already. I have a mental list of books that I can compare mine to, but I want to start making a physical list in case I need to add more.

I'm planning to browse self-help books like mine and make a list of the publishers.

Tomorrow I'm sharing my book with a second coworker. My mom (a former CFO) would tell me not to, but I think I can make my own decisions about this and it's really important to me.

I thought that once the book was done I'd have a long list of blog posts and other projects I want to get to, but I really just want to keep working on my book.

Weird: I actually enjoyed everything else better (personal stuff like coloring, reading, and jumping) when it felt like procrastination on working on my book. Now that it doesn't feel like procrastination, it's like, what am I doing this for? Although now that I've established my book goals, those things can go back to being procrastination on my book, or a "break" from my book. Just to be clear, I'm normally 100% against that concept when it comes to work or school, but my book is different. I want my life to feel like it's all about my book and other things are just a break from it. Only with my book though. Absolutely nothing else.

I don't know when I'll finish my June calendar, but when I do, it's going to say "Every bestseller was once a rough draft."

Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday, May 2, 2016

My "Relationship" Blog

Going forward, when I'm talking to people whom I don't feel comfortable telling that I had a sex blog, I'm going to refer to it as a "relationship blog." I know, I know this sounds like the opposite of being untamable, but let me explain the issue here, and why I'm doing this:

Over the past few months, as I'm nearing the end of editing my book, I've been thinking a lot about writing projects and the way that my brain works, and thinking about just how horrible it was to have my number one writing project ripped away from me when we broke up. Now, just to be clear, any writing project would have suffered a lot under those conditions because I rely a lot on other people's support - whatever project I had been working on at the time, I would have been excited for my boyfriend to see it and would have lost a huge amount of my interest in the project after we broke up. But it's just not the same as having it literally ripped away, of actually not being able to continue, and realizing that a lot of the persona of "look how great everything is" that was embedded into that blog was a lie. 

Now, I don't think it's right that we can't talk openly about sex. I am not okay with the fact that I would put my job at risk by mentioning the sex blog at work. Not okay at all. Don't think for a second that I think any of this is okay.

But the fact is, even though I'm not okay with this part of our culture, it still affects me. I'm not going to discuss a sex blog with anyone in my family or anyone from work, even though I want to. 

Now that I've been getting closer and making deeper connections with people from work, I'm becoming open and honest about a lot more things, including deep emotional things. Just last week, I shared more than I ever thought I would share about the breakup with a friend from work. She was a good listener and it felt really nice.

The fact that I lost my main writing project at the time was a huge part of the breakup for me, and I feel like I'm leaving out something major every time that I can't discuss it. THAT is why I'm going to refer to it as a relationship blog to certain people - not because I want to hide the fact that I had a sex blog, but because I want to be able to share this issue and this part of the breakup with people whom I would otherwise just not share it with.

In our current culture, as much as I hate it, I just would never mention the sex blog to certain people. Calling it a "relationship blog" is not about hiding anything - it is allowing me to share important things that I would not otherwise be able to share, and it's helping me with my goal of making deeper connections with people at work. A couple months ago I told my mom the issue about the blog and called it a relationship blog, and I felt really good that I got to share that with her. Even though I couldn't talk about the sex blog, there's a whole other aspect to the situation that I did get to discuss with her. So this is not about limitations. It's about an opportunity for more communication and connections with more people. 

So, if my mom ever mentions anything about my "relationship blog," or if you catch me using that term with anybody, you'll know what I'm referring to :-)

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Why I Could Never Be an Elite College Professor

Because if a student fell out of bed and cracked his head open on the floor and came to class bleeding with a crack down the middle of his head and the rest of his face very badly bruised, I would be concerned for his well-being! I would not be like, "Stand still while we write a poem about you because I'm a poetry professor so that's all I'm capable of thinking about."

Yes, this happened.