You can read about my last update here.
There were several months lately where I started to question the whole project. I knew that I was trying to include too much but didn’t want to have to cut anything that I had already written. Last week, I finally made the cut. Even though my document is down about 30,000 words, there is a clearer, more focused theme throughout the material I do have.
I just finished this book by Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat Pray Love fame. She talks a lot about how writing (or creating of any kind) is day after day of showing up and doing the work. You’re not always going to feel inspired, you will probably always doubt your ability (and sanity), and you will wonder if your work will achieve “success” by the world’s standard of success. She would argue, though, that if the process of creating your work brings you joy, then it doesn’t matter if it becomes published or put on display at The Met or if a million copies of it are sold.
I’m finding she’s right. Most days, I open my computer and wonder if I should just trash the whole durn thing. But then I remember how much this book is helping sort out parts of my childhood (nothing traumatic, just the unique events that made me me) and how understanding them is key to being the best adult version of myself. It has been painful to revisit my childhood insecurities and to write about them, in detail, but it has also been therapeutic. And remembering all of the good moments from my past has brought me a lot of joy and thankfulness. “My book” is one of the first things I think about in the morning and some nights in bed, it’s hard to get my brain to stop thinking about it so that I can fall asleep.
I’m going to keep opening my computer and typing, word after word after word, until I finish “my book.” Because it is valuable, whether or not it ever makes it beyond the confines of my computer. Oh, and there’s another reason why I want to finish. Remember all that material that I mentioned that I had to cut? Well, I realized it will be pretty great material for a second book, a sequel of sorts.