Tomorrow is the deadline for my third re-write of Girl on the Right: Memoir of a Life Upside Down. This is supposed to be my final major action prior to production in March. Today, however, I am having the feels about my book’s content, how it will be received, and whether it should even be released. This is normal for a memoir, in my experience, but I don’t like it. I’ve never had this type of pre-release anxiety. What does one do to combat such a state? This author put down her laptop and disconnected for a short reprieve.
The root of my anxiety lies in the book’s content, obviously. My initial vision for the book, and where the manuscript is today, is vastly different. Let me explain so you understand. I have shared that my book was inspired by the “Be the girl on the right” meme, and even did a photo shoot to carry that theme. I believed that this book would define that quirky girl who doesn’t follow the crowd, who lives by her own rules. She doesn’t worry about conventions, or whether her opinions are popular. She owns it all. That’s my characterization of the “Girl on the Right.” For all intents and purposes, I am her. But I wasn’t always. Not only that, there are many things, twists and turns, that have landed me at this moment, being and living as the “Girl on the Right.”
While writing during the first months, I was focused on the witty, humorous read that I knew my fan base was expecting. What I failed to do, as someone who encourages others to live authentically, was be honest about the journey to here. I caught myself glazing over the heart and core of what makes me the woman you see today. I don’t remember a time in my writing life that I have ever attempted to hide in plain sight. Yuck. As both an avid reader, and author, it didn’t sit well in my gut. That’s when I embarked on my second re-write, a complete manuscript overhaul, which includes my what, why, how, and result. The third re-write was to clean up the purge. Essentially, I’ve opened my kimono to you, my trusted readers. Quite honestly, I’m not sure how you will receive it all.
Whatever comes, I am ready. I think.
During a visit with my dear friend last week, I read her the first sentence of the first chapter. She teared up and her chin did the pre-cry tremor. You know the one, right? She couldn’t speak. Her reaction is not the first of its kind, and that makes me happy and wary at the same time. Happy in that the best compliment is to make a reader feel, yet wary that it just may be too much. I’ve struggled with this for months, but it is the only way I know how to start my story. It is important for my readership to understand the depth of what it took to get me to this place of gratitude, love, acceptance, and inner peace. It was damn hard, and continues to be challenging, but I make choices every day that support a life of positivity, passion, and purpose. If nothing else, I hope that is your takeaway from this book that I have birthed. And it was a birth, both in the creation of a physical object, and a renewing of spirit.
Bella Vida, loves.