I don’t know entirely what the hell happened between me and blogging, but after a long break-up, we’re talking about getting back together. In many ways, this is the conversation; I’m having it with the keyboard and I’m having it with you.
Honestly, this is all pouring out of me so quickly, maybe I’ll give you a little background.
Earlier this week, my publisher contacted me about rewriting my already published novel, Where the Water Rages, so that they could sell the rights to a larger book distributor, where it could be marketed it to a wider audience. The larger distributor had read the novel and emailed a review, which included changes that needed to be made so that the story would appeal to more people. Some of the changes made me laugh, and I was able to distance myself from work that I did so many years ago. During which time my library grew, and I had the opportunity to have many talented professors and academic peers speak into my writing. So, when I heard that they thought Kimly was unbelievable—too impulsive, it made me smile a defeated grin. Kimly was penned, nine years ago, by a woman who herself was impulsive and made reckless decisions, often getting in over her head. Broken pieces of me pierce through that manuscript and some of them are fraught with inconsistencies. To put it more bluntly, I was a hot mess, trying to work out my shit. This, of course, is not a reason to disregard the editorial recommendation. Maybe Kimly does need a face lift. The top two comments about Kimly are one: that people find her annoying, and two: she reminds them of me. Hmmm…how odd. Hearing now that the woman with whom I can relate, doesn’t seem like a real person sends my little Enneagram 4 heart onto a rollercoaster of introspection.
So, yes, I would be willing to work with editors and make Kimly more likable. If there is an opportunity for me to grow as a writer and to learn how to be more relatable to people, sign me up!
But, wait, there’s more.
And this is where I get agitated.
I start to remember why I felt pressure to be creating something. Making something, churning something out. Churn. Churn. Churn churn church churn church. Churn Church…work for it, work for it…earn it…deserve it.
The change that the bigger book distributor recommended ((SPOILERS)) was that the romance between Kimly and Dak be made more intense, and possibly that their relationship lands differently at the end of the book. In other words, Kimly needs to fuck Dak and leave her cheating husband. Hmm. Do I want to write that story? I didn’t then, Praise God.
The next non-negotiable idea they suggested to increase sales was to have Kimly do something significant by the end of the story. As they put it, quoting my publisher reading their email, “readers feel cheated watching Kimly go through all of these experiences, but at the end, she doesn’t even write a ground-breaking editorial piece. She only saves one child.”
For a long time, I felt so much pressure to do something significant. The feeling runs deep and goes back far, and I’ve done a lot of work to break it down and understand it. But as for writing, as I remember it, I was feeling pressure to stand apart, to be excellent at something and it emerged with the digital age. This need grew inside of me. A need to have a lot of followers, a bigger team, a best seller. To do something big within this new digital world. The idea of just being a kind human living a simple life was out there, but I didn’t know how to make it what I wanted. I wanted to want it.
And then I did.
And so did Kimly. She just did it before me.
So when the bigger book distributor suggests I write a Hollywood ending, my answer is a firm, maybe.
I mean…I am writing again, and if a woman emerges who gets the guy, cracks the case, and sells a truckload of books, then, by all means, she is welcome to the story! But as for Kimly, no.
Kimly went on a search for significance, where she met a man that made her question what she had within her marriage, she saw the love she could have for a child, and she discovered how deeply God loved her and the places he would go to save her. Kimly realized that the most significant thing she could do was to be involved in her marriage to make it work, to become a more attentive mother, and to care for the person directly in front of her. She didn’t write the big editorial piece because that is not what this particular fable is about.
Anyway, all of this to ask, does anyone read blogs anymore? Just wondering if it’s worth my time.