Saturday, December 02, 2006

A New Leaf

December 2

I’ve gotten a lot from blogging. There was a point at which I was sailing along, posting on the blog every day – inspired to voice opinions on everything from my favorite movie star to the existence of a man who could have been responsible for the works of Shakespeare,to the meaning of god, to the significance of Andy Warhol and to the family of Anderson Cooper.

Then one day I realized I was burned out. It just didn’t make sense to me any more, creating little essays, pleading for comments and then just not being interested in the responses that came. It was getting me crazy.

I posted that I was ending the blog, but I didn’t end it. That was kind of crazy too, but this way I had control. I could write if I felt like it, but I was relieved of the compulsion to put something out there every morning as early as I could. (At its peak, the act of posting early in the morning was cathartic and helped clear my brain for the day. By the time it had become a drag I didn’t know what I would write about or why, or whether it was worth the effort.)

Which brings me to now. Last week, being roughly a month off the blog, I began writing a book. It was an idea that had been circling my brain – a book not about Fairhope or anything connected to it, a smart, funny, commercial book about one thing I was beginning to understand, aging. I would use some material from some of my blog posts and articles I had written in the past, put it together as a chronicle of someone living as full a life as possible in her sixties. I mentioned this to a friend whose brain I respect, and even told her the idea for the title. She said she thought it sounded great and that the thing to do is write a few chapters and an outline, including the target reader, the potential demographic numbers based on research, and present it to an agent who would see if she (or he) could sell it. Here’s the kicker – I had forgotten that this friend had had a book published several years ago which did rather well in its field. She said if I would do the preliminary work, she would see that her agent read it!

You don’t have to be a famous writer to know that getting a reputable agent to read your book is half the battle.

With all this behind me, plus the aerobic mental exercise of having written a daily blog for about ten months, I started writing last weekend and words were coming fast. I was liking what I was doing. I had to make myself stop Sunday night, promising to get back to it today, read it cold, and try to shape up what I have to get it ready to be read by a professional. If she thinks it unworthy then I am spared the difficulty of finishing a book that nobody wants to publish and few would read, as in the late lamented When We Had the Sky.

And if the agent likes it, friends, if she likes it, she submits it to publishers and if one of them likes it, they say yes, get this woman to finish this, and they even give me a little money to assure that I will allow them to publish it.

Just like a real writer. So today I shall look it over and start rewriting the chapters. It has to be the absolute best I can do.

I’m glad I learned – in part from blogging – how to buckle down and shape this thing up. Wish me luck.

8 comments:

Bert Bananas said...

"WISH ME LUCK"

Even-Handed Hope, luck is often an important ingredient in getting something done that needs doing. I'm certainly not going to discount it and if you can find it, go with it!

But since you can't rely on luck, what might be a more substantive element to rely on?

Finding Fair Hope said...

Let's see...I could have said, "Wish me hope," but that's redundant. I could have said "Wish me well," but that's bland.

I could just say, "Wish that I sell my book," but that's too specific and sounds crass.

How about this, "Put it out to the Universe that I deserve success, money, and a shot on the Oprah Show to sell my book." That seems reasonable.

Bert Bananas said...

"...that I deserve success..."

This is true. Laztheists want everyone to be successful. We're not zero-sum rationalists who think that for every successful persoln there has to be an equally unsuccessful person. As if life its ownself was a balancing act.

Write the book, get a few breaks and my wife will one day soon tell me about this wacky Alabaman lady she saw on Oprah who mentioned my name... (You better!)

Finding Fair Hope said...

I would do that, but as a matter of fact, I don't even know your name.

Bert Bananas said...

So, you assume that Bert Bananas is not my full name! Well, actually it's Bertram Bananas, but let's not quibble.

I'm sure you can find some way to fit it into the interview, so that my wife will hear it...

Grammie said...

What exciting news! Happy writing...make sure and keep us posted on your progress...Maybe we can help make it a best seller!

After my divorce I had considered writing a book about older women's experiences being on their own after long term marriages such as mine. I think that I got as far as the dedication page!

I hope that you do better than I did. Good luck! : )

Bert Bananas said...

"I think that I got as far as the dedication page!"

It seems to me you had to include your Ex... Did you?

Grammie said...

Bert....he was to be in a later chapter. : )