Ok, ok, my apologies. TODAY I will finally answer Anonymous‘ 2nd question…

I already answered question #1 in this post, but due to this and this, I haven’t gotten around to answering question 2 until now. In fact, I haven’t even thought about it all that much, so whatever I write here is going to be off the cuff and freestyle. Are you ready? (Am I?) Here we go…

How would you feel if you said “screw it” and threw The Book away?

I’d feel like I’d taken my talent, wrapped it in my beating heart, boxed it up in the dearest of friendships, tied it with golden bits of my soul, and then walked to a pier and dropped the whole thing into the drink. As it bobbed enticingly close to rescue on the surface, I’d lay down on the dock with my chin resting on my hands, and wait for it to get water-logged before it sunk ever-so-slowly into the darkness of the deep. It would probably flutter in the water, as a feather falls through the air, drifting back and forth as it sinks, like it’s trying to rock itself into a peaceful death before it loses sight of me.

It would hurt. A lot.

Basically I have this shell of a book, this skeleton of about 45,000 words that just needs to be rearranged into something more entertaining and coherent. It needs to be fattened up like a rescued stray.  It’s almost more editing than writing at this point. It needs to be stitched together with all the wit and honesty I’ve got, and it really doesn’t seem to be that big of a project.

But it’s gargantuan somehow.

I’ve been told not to look at it like that, just to see it as a series of small projects – I’ve been told to start a new page each time I sit down to write. I’ve been told not to rush, to remember that I don’t have to have The Book done in a year or anything. I’ve been supported, motivated, encouraged, advised, pressed, pushed, loved, and lifted… but The Book still has no skin. It has no guts. It’s just bone. My Cheerleaders have all been so patient, and so kind. If I were to say “Screw it!” to The Book and just walk away… I’d feel like I had let everyone down.

I’d feel like a total failure.

I’d feel like I had my dream in grasp, then dropped it and ran. It would be like receiving and Academy Award, and then refusing to get out of my seat to accept it, while applause died awkwardly around me.

I’d feel like  a wuss, like a scared little beast who worked hard to make her childhood dream a reality, but then refused to finish the job and face the possibility of rejection. In that, though, perhaps I’d feel a sense of relief. Relief from the prospect of cruelty and harsh criticism (I’ve never been one to handle criticism well, I can admit that). I mean, if I don’t put The Book out there, then people can’t hate on it, right?

I’d feel sick, I’ll bet. Sick, and sad and lost. I’d forever feel like I could have done so much more. I’d constantly look back and wonder “what if…”, and “why didn’t I?” There would always be that negative space in me, that hole, that place that could never be filled by anything else, at any time, ever.

The Book would become an echo, instead of a barbaric YAWP.

I can’t walk away, can I?

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