When I set out to write this book, I remember thinking how easy I thought it would be. I would just sit down and type away on my keyboard like I did all the time. Coming up with stories is so easy for me. I have ideas that swirl around in my head all day long, sometimes keeping me from sleep. I am serious! There’s been times when I could not shut my mind off long enough to sleep because I could see a story unfold every time I closed my eyes. Afraid that I’d lose it or forget, like I’d done so many other times, I would rush for my computer and create it. Complete with pictures, websites, etc.
Each story had to have it’s own little world. I couldn’t just stop with writing. I had to have a physical, tangible “thing” that I could look at and reminisce over.
So going back to the creation of this book…
I cannot tell you how many times I put this away and decided it was over. I couldn’t decide where it was going, or, even worse, I didn’t want to write the story because if I wrote the story then it’d have to have an ending. This is a major source of anxiety for me. Have any of my fellow writers had this? Or am I just really that crazy?
I don’t like my stories to have an ending. In my head they continue on and on. And even if I didn’t write 100 books or chronicles about their lives, they would live on, dancing in my over-active brain (whose always sleep deprived).
What really got me about my decision to write this book was how, it would not let me let it go. It nagged, and nagged. It demanded that its story be told. I had little chapters that I’d printed out and shown to friends, here and there. They all said the same thing, “You have to write this! Where’s the rest?” Each time I’d smile and think to myself that they were only trying to be nice. They’re my friend or family member, they have to be encouraging, right?
It was when I sat down and got serious about it, and staying in the practice of writing every day, whether on paper (which most days it had to be, since I could only write during my lunch time at work) or tossing out a paragraph to sew together the ideas already committed to Times New Roman font, that I realized that other people liked it too.
Still, my insecurities are there. I wonder if it will be good enough. If I’m good enough. If the story makes sense. I even asked that several times of every person I let read what I had managed to glue together, “Does it make sense?” Because if it didn’t, I had to fix it.
Another hangup I had was, is it accurate enough. I’m talking about a historical and real person. I’m bringing up an era that many die-hard fans are sometimes unforgiving about. As much as I know about the era, I realized that I could dig up 100 more things I didn’t already know.
My dedication to the integrity of the book is such a priority that I didn’t want someone to read it and say, “That’s impossible..even for fantasy.” When you take away from things that make it real, even in a fantastical world…if you lift their feet too far off the ground, when you write about real things, it makes it imperative that they can relate by knowing.
What does that mean? It means, if I talk about the neighborhood I grew up in as a child in Chicago, you may not know the street name, but if I describe digging out a parking spot in the snow for two hours and “reserving it” with two chairs and a broom… You’ll get it, if you’re from Chicago. Those things are important to me. So important that I was (am) frightened to death that I’ll “get it wrong”.
Finally, however, I gave up the fear. I want to write this story. I want to share it with friends and family and everyone else that wants to read it. If you “get it” then that makes me all the more happy. If you don’t? Well…
I don’t know.
But I do know, I will have the satisfaction of finishing it. And that’s all that really matters, right?