I’m writing a book. I’ve been writing this book for the past five years. Longer if you count the time I worked with a friend to co-author a book of nursing tales until I knew I had to take this journey alone. Add the amount of time it took for the book to take form and we’re talking ten years. There have been many renditions. It started out as a chronological account of my nursing career. Then it morphed into a story about a particular job I had. I added more about my immediate family. My mother ambled into the book complicating my theme and opening old wounds. I changed the book from past tense to present tense and back to past tense again. I’ve had many more working titles than I can remember. Over the years I paid large amounts of money on writing classes and workshops and to consultants to look over my work only to disregard what they recommended. The book remains incomplete.
I don’t believe any of my efforts were worthless. In fact with each rendition of my book, I grew into a better writer. But now enough is enough. I am ready to declare what this book is really about and proceed to complete the manuscript. That’s the scary part. Maybe it’s the real reason it’s taken so long to be done.
Writing a book can take a long time–I sure know that first-hand. And I agree that no part of the process is wasted. Writing illuminates so much for us. I think of Joan Didion saying that she doesn’t know what she thinks or feels until she writes down her thoughts and the pictures in her mind.
I love the image of your mother ambling into the story. She might have stumbled out again or been shooed away by you, but I’ll bet she gave you the opportunity for some fresh insight. And who knows how your encounter with her will inform your work.
Yes, I agree the process of writing is about learning and growing. And my mother loved to stir things up. Not always a bad thing
Having ambled and stumbled the writing road along with you, I love being a guest in your writing moments on your blog!
Yes, we go way back stumbling and bumbling together. How delightful to have you as a guest to share my blogging efforts.