Monday, June 15, 2015

In a comma coma

If you’ve spent any time with me over the past year, you are aware of why I’ve been so distracted these days. If you don’t know me very well, you might be surprised to know that I’ve been working on a book that is teetering on the brink of being finished. I just can’t bring myself to let it go and am wondering what will happen when I do. Will it take wing in the breeze and fly, or will it crash in the mud with a thud?

I had enough people encouraging me to write a book in recent years that I was seriously considering it when a friend of mine, who actually coaches people in the writing process, offered to give me some help. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse. If I was ever going to do this, now was the time.

So, I’ve written a spiritual memoir called Threads: pulling meaning from the tangled mess. It’s about my life and the meaning I’ve been able to draw from it. I’m hoping that it will help other people in their own process of meaning-making along the way.

Let me tell you that I’ve gained new-found respect for authors. Especially authors who have other full-time jobs. Every spare moment of my life has been devoted to this book. I’m ready to move on to other things. Like enjoying the sunshine, reconnecting with friends, and getting rid of the dust bunnies under my bed, which have grown into dust elephants over the past year. But I’m having trouble letting go.

I thought I was finished a few months ago. Then, as I read the proof, I became painfully aware of how I was using conjunctions. I went through the entire book and made adjustments. There. Now I was done.

When I read the next proof, I got hung up on the word that. When do you use it and when don’t you? Argh. I went through the entire book again, struggling over each time I used the word and whether or not it was better to leave it in or take it out. And that was that. Definitely done.

The last proof came back, and I saw inconsistencies in the way I was using commas. All the rules were becoming confused and I realized I couldn’t let my work be seen by others until I got my commas straight. So, I went through every page, comma by comma, and did what I could until I was in a comma coma.

I’m waiting to get the proof back again before I sign off on it. And I’m almost afraid to look. There has to be an end to this!

Several proofs back, I asked my coaching friend, Peg Robarchek, "How will I know when it’s finished?" Here’s what she told me: “My personal criteria for whether a book was finished was whether I had worked on it so long and hard that I was sick of it and certain it should never have been written.”

Oh, yes, Peg. I'm definitely there! Won’t be long before I’m shoving this baby off the cliff and we’ll see where it goes.

1 comment:

Lennie Richardson said...

Ha! Can't wait to see that one! You sure you don't want me to give it a quick proofread? ;)