I shared my new book with a friend today and she asked me how I get past all the ways people will be affected when they read ALL. MY. BUSINESS. I told her I'm a very long way from where I started.
Phase one of writing autobiographically, I have to take all the important normal life filters off to get to the raw good stuff. I let go of what people think. I turn off my editing/revising brain. I don't spell correctly or have good grammar. I write ugly and passionate.
I don't usually like what comes out at first. I usually cry. Even though no one else is reading yet, it's still scary, because I see things I don't like about myself. I usually feel the pain of past injuries all over again.
I wouldn't ever hand any of you that first draft. For my sake and yours.
But one-thousand evolutions happen between then and now, and all in cooperation with a highly trusted editor. A gentle review makes sense of what's there and then we organize. Late night meetings give me feedback and encouragement and refinement of my voice and clarification of purpose. Multiple rewrites fill in holes, smooth out edges, and cull out the distractions. A few trips to my therapist work through the wreckage I've unearthed. Lots of prayer with my God gives direction and reminders that I don't have to be enough.
Until finally, I'm finished. There's no clear end, I just honestly just get tired of working on it. I obsess until it feels good enough. I mostly write for myself, to honor my God and to give hope to those who struggle, like me. By the end, those who don't enjoy my effort really aren't my concern.
If you're ready to read it, you can find print copies here. (Digital coming soon).