Many of the readers of this blog who log in and read from time to time know that I am in the completion phase of writing two books. One is named for this blog, and traces the entire experience of having Daniel join us on Earth, his life and his passing, and our experience afterward. In contrast,this blog tends to be snapshots of my thoughts and our lives taken from time to time following our loss of Daniel.
I don't think I have heard anyone else speak about the impact of writing a book or two books on family life or on their household. Normally, I write fairly quickly, because after all, it is simply speaking or storytelling. My husband tells me that most women talk and unfold stories pretty naturally and I am not an exception. However, writing a book is an entirely different process. First of all, the stakes are higher. I can delete a blog post should I read it later and decide it's too depressing to remain, although I never have. A book takes a long time to write, some time to get to and through a book publisher, and then sits with your words and phrases steaming, in a sense forever. It will have it's day in the sun, and then maybe eventually copies will be sold in places I actually go, garage sales, and dollar stores ! Although my friends are more positive about it than that. Maybe instead of asking John Grisham to autograph the latest copy of his book, he will eventually ask me to autograph one of mine ! This might squarely fall into my fantasy life, if it weren't for the fact that John Grisham did once ask me why I buy carob and what I do with it, when we happened to be in the same grocery store together. But, once again, I digress.
When you are writing a book or two, there is scarcely time to pay bills, let alone to file the paid ones properly. Consequently, all three of my desks are piled with actual paperwork. My personal desk has things to file. My writing projects desk has paperwork awaiting being placed into manilla folders. My "college professor desk" has books and other things awaiting my reading and either reviewing them or sending them to someone else. My normally clean and organized home has piles of supplies and canned food sitting in staging areas, awaiting being put away. The few things I normally iron are in a basket awaiting rewashing and a more careful trip and removal from the dryer this time. About all I have kept up on lately is the writing of the books, aiding my daughter in the readying of her new house, and animal care. I am going to need to put my full attention on the house as soon we will be facing another Christmas. So, it would be safe to conclude that writing a book probably contributes to some degree of home disarray. Some of this is just not my fault ! Several times I have had everything in neat piles and then the cat, in his zeal to sit next to me as I write, has cosied up to my warm computer and knocked everything to the floor !
The thing I think I like least about writing a book is not the revisions I have to make myself but the copy editing process. A book is a very personal thing. How can a mere mortal reduce ones thoughts and feelings to the mechanics of things like adverbial phrases ? As much as I tried not to feel as if someone unknown to me was going through my underwear drawer, this is how it felt. I also disagreed with a couple of the recommendations. I didn't want everything in perfect grammatical style. I wanted people to feel as if I am relating a story to them, not as if I am relating a speech. Maybe this is a flaw of mine, because there are many, but I felt magically transported to high school when the creepy honors English instructor corrected every word choice, every tense, my proclivity for British spelling, etc. In life, I take correction fairly well. I think in writing, perhaps I do not.
The next time you read a book, please understand that the person who wrote it may have trashed their house, their relationships, and possibly their health to do it. Also, both of my books should be out just before Christmas, or so we hope. One is "What I Learned from Daniel" and the other is "Rational Preparedness: A Primer to Preparedness". Please buy a paper copy, either from Barnes and Noble or Amazon, or get one electronically the same way. I need to hire some temporary cleaning and organizing help !