Moving On

For the past two weeks I’ve been sitting on the second round of edits I need to make to my memoir Loveyoubye and then it will finally be done.

Five years of working through all the emotions, the tears and anguish. Five years of waking in the middle of the night, filled with doubt that I had the right to tell my story. Five years of sorting through what to put in and what to leave out. Five years of memoir writing classes and workshops, learning how very different memoir is from fiction, getting past fiction’s iron clad rule to “show don’t tell.” In memoir, it’s tell, tell, tell.

I spilled my guts. And then I sent the manuscript to Thomas White, an editor recommended by my memoir writing mentor for a comprehensive edit. I didn’t realize just how comprehensive his edit would be. He picked up each line, turned it over, examined the bottom, sniffed it, held it up to the light. And asked questions. Difficult penetrating questions that made me realize that I’d held back, that there was still more to tell. His questions took me down paths that unearthed tiny pieces of the puzzle of my experience I didn’t know were missing.

And now all I have to do is make those last few changes. Easy ones, especially after what I’ve been through. But there’s been a force field around my manuscript. I haven’t been able to crack that file. I’m anxious and miserable. I think what’s happening is that I’m afraid of finally being done. I’m afraid I will have nothing more to write. I’m afraid of sending Loveyoubye out into the world where others will get a peek into what I’m about. But you know what, I have to do it. Writing this book revealed a whole lot of me to myself and provided a healing I wouldn’t have found any other way.

Maybe now that I’ve been able to write about it in this blog, I can make those changes. And get on with writing.

22 thoughts on “Moving On

    1. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be at a writing weekend right now (especially at your country estate which I suspect is absolutely inspiring and delightful)as I muddle my way through this ending and try to find my next beginning.

  1. Rossandra, brave heart! Take a deep breath and know that so many readers out there need your memoir. They will find a kindred soul and not feel so alone or they will experience something that will open up a new world and be enlightened for it. Take a deep breath. Every ending has its pain and joy, and like children we have to send our works out into the world to create their own life. We can all celebrate when your memoir is published. Be kind to yourself as you’re probably right about the fear coming from having to let go. But it will be worth it. Hugs.

  2. Perhaps it’s a bit like exercise, in that sometimes, when we are tired, or muddled, or just plain upset, it is difficult to get motivated for a big workout–difficult not to feel anxious about whatever is niggling at us, and so we sit instead, inactive, unable. But, if we are able to must enough gumption to commit to just 10 minutes, we often find that this tiny step leads to increased energy and zeal–enough to either continue on a few more minutes, or at least to know that we can do the same thing the very next day.

    Be gentle with yourself, my friend, you have worked so hard, and have earned my deep respect for not giving in, for not giving up on the importance of telling your story.

  3. Rossandra – great post. It’s nice to know your anguish, as I have been anguishing, too! You are at the end, and it will feel right. No worries. You have done all the work!! The fun part of writing is the writing. 88.8% of writing is editing, and not as fun. But you’ve done it, so that’s amazing.

  4. I know that feeling so well . . . the letting go, followed by the ‘now what do I do?’ edginess that creeps in (not to mention the anticipation of submitting the manuscript to agents/publishers, etc.) I recently finished a novel, after which I gave myself permission to ease up on the drive to write write write so I could read read read. Of course I haven’t stopped writing (blog posts do count for something, don’t they?). And I can’t help thinking how much richer my world has become via connections with writers like you to share the trials and tribulations.

  5. I’m sure you are going to have a hit on your hands! All the stuff you’ve done & the who you are will come shining thru! Am going to enjoy reading it to see where the pieces all fit in!

  6. You’re an inspiration, Rossandra!! Hooray for all the perseverance and determination and just pure guts for hanging with it. You’re so close – and should be so proud for yourself. I’m sure these last steps are scarey – but you deserve the reward at the end of this long road. Good for you!

  7. I don’t think it’s ever “done” Rossandra. Art, music, writing, is all a process; a creation that you decide to release at any given point in time. It sounds like it’s time. Enjoy the letting-go butterflies and give yourselfg a great big hug. All the best to you!

  8. You have to put it out there because I want to read it. Especially after meeting your wonderful self today. I understand the terror of thinking that’s it, that you’ll never have another thought to write about again. I feel that way every time I finish a piece. We writers are a neurotic lot, but ya gotta love us. Right? 🙂 I so admire you for completing such an ambitious piece of work. What an amazing accomplishment. Kudos to you, my friend. xoxo

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