Saturday, April 17, 2010

Day 107: I tossed the manuscript

Today I had one task: To go through the notes of the half-baked book that I wrote last year for nine months with my co-author. We abandoned the project for many reasons, the biggest and only reason really required was that it just wasn't good enough. Simple. Devastating. True.

The papers from this project were piled in the corner of my spare bedroom. Strangely, it also sits in the corners of my morning pages. Mini-to-do lists are often created as I write my morning pages and they line the pages of my journal. After writing "Go through the pages" for the upteenth time, I finally nudged myself enough to get to it.

There I was on my knees in my spare bedroom sifting through the pages. I made two piles. One of writings that are mostly mine. One that is mostly hers. Perhaps separately something can come of our words. Though we've burned the book idea, hope remains in the cinders.

I am a mother who miscarried. The irony that we incubated this book for nine months is not lost on me. Six months after the fact, a mother folds and organizes never-worn baby clothes. I fold and organize never-read pages. We wonder what went wrong. We had such high hopes. We thought it would have worked out. We did everything we could.

Yet I had a hand in the demise of the book. After writing it all down, we decided we will not walk in this world as the parents of this book and that's a good thing. We do, after all, have to live with our hits. This is one hit we opted to miss.

One day a book like ours will come out and be written by someone else. It's just a matter of time. And I'll be happy to read it. But for us and this book, something died. And no amount of sticking to it is going to bring it back to life.

After the pile was sorted, I put hers in a bag to deliver at our writing session tomorrow. We are trying again. But this time we are writing something that is more us. Something we will delight to present to the world. Something that will help people live their lives better. And that is worth making room for.


3 comments:

  1. I feel for you. It sounds like there's wisdom with the pain.

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  2. At least you had a manuscript. All I had were about 500 pages that said, "All work and no play makes Jeff a dull boy."

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  3. Jeff is funny.

    I have a 200+ page manuscript sitting in my apartment from 2003-05. I won't throw it out...but it's not going anywhere either.

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