How to describe the process of writing a book. Oh, did I mention it’s memoir? Writing a memoir, I might describe it as self-inflicted soul surgery. First of all, I have a terrible memory. But I figure that may have worked in my favor. The less you remember, the shorter the book, right? But seriously, after digging around with my soul scalpel for an entire semester and scraping out the significant memory chunks that often led to other significant bits of sometimes gory recall and finally stringing them all together to form some semblance of a cohesive storyline, I think it made the few events I did remember that much more meaningful. Or maybe I don’t think. Maybe I just hope.
Secondly I’m extremely bored with my own background information. But it seemed (and my mentor, the lovely and talented Sara Pritchard will certainly correct me if I’m in error on this count) to be necessary for the rest of the story to work. So I plunged forward through that extended yawn and can now only hope it turns out to be more interesting for other people to read than it is for me to read over and over and over again. Because that’s how writing a manuscript goes. I say this is my first draft, but I’ve actually revised every section of the draft anywhere from three to eight times already. Three to eight sets of revisions just to get to a first draft. And I’ve got a whole semester of first draft, second draft, and maybe even third draft revisions to look forward to after this.
That’s how to describe the writing process. It is neverending. Right now, that is the most frustrating part. But as I continue through the process, I can’t help but wonder if I’ll ever get used to the neverending quality of the work. If I will grow into it the way one does certain physical features, like cheekbones or an Italian nose (speaking only from personal experience, of course). If the tables will turn and what I now call frustrating will, over time, mold its way into a habit of mine. And if that habit will eventually and oh so gradually take control of my feelings on the subject so that instead of wanting to get it over with, I’ll look forward to the neverendingness of the process as if it were an impossible old friend, arms forever open in unconditional and eternal invitation. Always waiting, forever there. Just for me.