…I heed its call. Yesterday, I sat down and tried to brainstorm ideas for a book. I am one of those people who has always felt like there’s a book (or two, or ten…) inside them, and at least once a year, I try to come up with an idea for one. I get a chapter written, max an introduction on top of it, and then it fails. I get inevitably don’t like where the story is going, or find that I don’t know the subject well enough (and then discover the crushing lack of resources available on the subject from the library) and it dies. And usually at this same time, I go through the files on my computer, decide which ones to keep, and which ones to delete, and all the partially written stories and books go into the trash bin, and I try to start again.
It wasn’t until reading Tranquilista by Kimberly Wilson that I even realized what things like book proposals, and sample chapters were, and that most books weren’t written first, then published, but only a few pieces written, with an outline and summary of what else the book would be able, and why it’s different, and then you found a publisher, and they gave you some time and money to finish the book, maybe hook you up with an editor, and then you have to watch as your baby goes out into the world at the mercy of your publisher and the changes they want to make. It wasn’t until this harsh reality settled on me that I realized that at least three of the subjects I wanted to write books about, would probably never make it, not as I wanted them to. There are simply too many other books like that on the market at the moment, each claiming to be better than the last, and as much as I’m confident that I could write a good book about say, jouranling, I’m not sure that it would be an original book. And in these economic times, it has to be original if a company will take a chance on it.
So, I decided to set aside the writing dream for the moment, and find something uplifting to read. I’d heard that Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilber was great, but of course, when I tried to request it, all copies are currently overdue, on hold, or in circulation, and there’s a waiting list several people long to read it. I’m not that patient, so I did the next best thing, I bought it on sale at Shoppers, and cracked it open immediately. Let me tell you, I’m hooked.
I had a hard time putting it down when it was time to get my ass off the chair at Starbucks and head over to work, and an even harder time putting it down when it was time for me to go to sleep last night. But as I was lying there, thinking about the book and some of our similarities, I had a sudden burst of inspiration, and I literally leapt out of bed and ran for my computer. Inspiration had struck me, and I wasn’t going to just close my eyes and forget about it. If I learned nothing else from The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, it’s that when you get a brilliant idea, you write the damned thing down.
I had intended last night to only write a summaryof what I wanted the book to be about, it was after all, 11pm at night, but the next thing I knew, I was blinking back watery computer-glazed eyes, looking at the clock in disbelief – 12:30am, and hitting the save button, and dragging my butt to bed. But I set my alarm, and at 7:30am this morning, I was back in front of it, and another two and a half hours of writing have been accomplished. I have three chapters of rough, unedited, but in my opinion, brilliant writing accomplished, and I am thinking very seriously about sending it off to a few publishers. I have three publishers in mind specifically that I would love to have publish my book; Little, Brown and Company, Penguin, and New World Publishing. I think my book falls somewhere in the How to Be Single and Julie and Julia category, which would fit LBC perfectly, but it’s also kind of like Eat Pray Love in a sense, and Penguin jumped all over that ship. And then New World has company ethics that make the hippy in my smile all over – they print on partially or fully recycled paper, even when it will cost more, use soy based inks whenever possible, plant trees, and do lots of other very smart and green things while producing their books. I’m not sure if my book is their normal “type” but their company practices align perfectly with mine, and I would jump at the chance to be published by them.
I am still full of spark and inspiration, and I still have a lot of writing I would like to do today, tomorrow, and for many days to come. but I’m going to do my best at the same time, when I’m taking writing breaks, to do some researching, and maybe even some book proposal putting together. Anyone out there know of any other publishers that would be a good fit? Or of any inside scoop I should know about? Please share!