...although if you let me, I'll tell you long stories that I made up...
Or did I make it up? Was it a sentient alternative universe where a guy drove the pickup truck I always wanted but didn't quite exactly get, and somehow I was chosen to tell the story as it happened? Or did I find the story abandoned and went about discovering it and manipulating it and making it my own? It lived in my head. It was only mine. I shared it, I made the decision to put it out there into the world, and it took on a life of its own. My monster is coming to get you.
It's past my bedtime. I've been a wreck for days. Day or night, dayornight, dayornight, I'm either exhausted on my feet or losing sleep. Why? Because I have written a book. It's the fourth one I've finished, but it's the only one, right now, that is truly worth continuing with. I plan to submit to actual literary agents because I want it to be published and become a real book which people I don't even know will read...and people I know can read it, which means that I'll cringe when I think of people who know me reading the exceptionally awkward sex scenes and the heartbreaking memory scenes, and the hair raising drug scenes, and the slightly surreal sitting in church scenes...while I beg my parents to never ever read it, please...
And it all sits there, a concept, an idea, that came out of my head and became words and sentences and paragraphs and chapters. All of these imaginary friends who are so real to me now are waiting to become real elsewhere. All I have to do
is check over the query letter
and make sure I've done a good job of the synopsis
follow the directions
spell my own name correctly
put the right amount of postage on it
or hit the send button
and send it off
where it's out of my control
and after years of working away to write this monster, then another ten months of rewriting, and obsessing, and struggling with words, THIS IS IT.
I think this is where a lot of aspiring writers give up. This is the brick wall, the hard slam of a fast impact. Writing the material that the agent/ publisher/ editor wants is a different skill from making stuff up and calling it fiction. There were things in my head, people, events, and I wrote it down. Now I have to decide on what the next step is and there is no choice, I have to do this, I've been building up my whole life for this and didn't even know it. The book! The book was only part of it! But this! This is heavy! It would be like being the kid who stands by the wall and doesn't ask anybody to dance, because being rejected sucks, but if you just hang and never take the chance, you'll never have to feel the sting of the word NO. Only this isn't that cute thing you had a little crush on. This is what you've always wanted. This is your life. This is your future. What are you gonna do? Sit down and whimper that it was just too hard? Or get up the guts, drag it up from somewhere down below your bellybutton and hold it right there under your ribs and do what's gotta be done. The next step is the big one, stretch those tight little legs and grab the railing, but you better take that damn step or you're going home to sit in the dark and feel sorry for yourself. You want that? NO. I didn't think so.
I would say that I feel like I'm going insane but really I have never had all that far to go, so I guess I'll just say that I'm feeling very disconnected from reality right now. Which reality, well that's a whole other debate.
I have typed circles around myself. I have no idea if there is a point or if I've made any sense. I have mixed the metaphors and mangled cliches. All I know is that I've got 100,000 words that I've practically lived inside of for way too long, and that my own words have made me snort and snicker, and have reduced me to tears. I love them. I hate them. They are not me. They are me. They are mine. I am theirs.
The insides of my eyeballs hurt. I must go lie down in the dark now...