I was sitting on the sofa and thinking about what to do with my day when it occurred to me that it was Monday, which means blog day. At first, I panicked because I didn’t have a topic, but then I realized that yesterday I hit a milestone. I finished my chapbook.
I started thinking about this little lady around Easter, when I realized that several of my poems have to do with living with chronic illnesses. I often write about my depression and anxiety, and have a few poems about my diabetes and gastroparesis, too. So, I assembled all the poems I had in regards to chronic illness, wrote a few more, edited and organized them, and now I officially have a manuscript.
I don’t know what to do with it, of course. I have given it to my mother, Aunt Mary, and Sahar, and am looking for others to give me feedback. Then it’s off to find a publisher, which means it’s time to take myself to school at YouTube University and figure out how one even does that. I did a quick Google search while waiting on Mark yesterday and found one press for which my manuscript fits all the criteria, but I just missed their reading period. This indicates to me that finding somewhere to send it might be a little trickier than finding places to send singular poems.
For now, though, I’m unconcerned. I’m very excited that I even finished it, as it has been some time since I have seen a project come to fruition. The fact that it’s about the things that have held me back from my literary career only pleases me more. It’s triumphant.
The last piece I finished was a play I wrote that, looking back, is garbage. Yes, I have said many times that I think everything I write is garbage, and I am my own worst critic. This is so true-I tell myself things about my writing other people would never dare. I think about that play, and often want to rewrite it, working out the kinks and changing things both big and small. That play was written nearly ten years ago. When I finished it, I felt great joy and relief. That feeling returned yesterday morning, as I put the finishing touches on my manuscript.
It was done. I had completed something for the first time in a really long time, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t pleased with myself. Proud, mostly, that I was able to take something that has affected me for so long, and put it into words. Then put those words into something someone else could read and relate to. That’s all I want, as a writer. For someone to read my words and see themselves.
So today I celebrate a little, because I did something I always wanted to do. Ever since I was a kid, I have loved poetry, reading it and especially writing it. To have my poems ready to meet the world is a beautiful thing. What’s more…I don’t think it’s garbage, guys. I think it’s kind of good, actually. Which is, in it’s own way, terrifying.
My biggest hope is publication, of course. Still, if it doesn’t happen that way, I am proud of myself for creating something that I can share with others. I feel like poetry takes a certain level of bravery, and this collection certainly did. I am openly sharing my experiences with illness, and that is scary. We, as people, don’t like to point out our weaknesses. What we need to do is embrace them, and learn from them. I may be sick, but I’m still strong.
That’s all for today. I’m off to stare at my novel for a bit, as she has just moved off the backburner and into focus. That’s a flippin’ mess, to be honest. It’s more a large outline than a half finished novel, and it needs tons of reworking and additions. And I’m stuck on a section right now, so that’s fun. Hence, the staring instead of writing. Sigh.
Happy Monday, friend. Go do something brave.