Over the past month or so, I have been incredibly productive. None of that earns me any money, but I feel good about getting things done. As most of you know, before this blog, I wrote for over a year on a divorce blog. I chronicled our relationship and it’s nosedive into oblivion. I have been meaning to turn this into a book for years, but never really got around to getting it out of blog format and into a manuscript.
Well, a few weeks ago, a friend of mine (who is about to publish her first book!!) asked me about the progress of my book and it prompted me to get it into the right formatting. I didn’t think it would take that long. Hell, 90% of it is already there. It just needed a little editing.
Like two days of editing. I had sixty pages when I started, just copied and pasted from the original blog posts. It is now covered with hand written notes. Over the weekend, I found the correct template and started rewriting the book, based on the original stories and the edits. This is what Stephen King told me to do. He was very specific. Write your book – put it away. Edit your book – put it away. REWRITE your book. I mean he told me this through his book, On Writing, which I read last year (and put it away). So that is what I have been doing.
Turns out, the edits and rewrites have really beefed things up! From the first four or five of the original pages, I now have 26 pages of a manuscript written. Crazy!
But, something happened that I did not expect. The Feels. Oh lord, was I not expecting the feels. I have read my own blog numerous times and always found how I laid things out to be funny. But going in and making it into a book, not just some quick post with the highlights – That is bringing up some major emotion. Mostly pain in my heart for the girl I used to be, but there is also some anger towards my ex, for sure. But, if I am being totally honest here – a lot of it is embarrassment, humiliation, and self-shaming for allowing myself to get into that situation and to put up with it for so damn long! I am not an idiot, but writing it all down sure does make me look (and feel) like one!
And that hit me hard – that is absolutely the reason that I started writing in the first place. Not for me, but for the many other people (applies to both men and women; I’m not into male bashing) who have gotten themselves into these same situations and have no idea how to get out of them! I am NOT an advocate for divorce. Going through mine was seriously one of the most painful times of my life. I never got married with the intention of getting a divorce one day, but at some point you do have to realize that your happiness matters just as much as anyone else’s. Sometimes, we make a bad choice, and force relationships that weren’t meant to be. Sometimes, we just ignore the worst in others and pretend it will be all be fine through the power of our love! No, it won’t. If they tell you they are broken – believe them. You will not be able to fix them. Likewise, if you are broken, no one can fix you but you. Jumping head first into a situation like that just causes resentment and misery down the road.
And I am grateful. Incredibly grateful to the friends who helped me see the light – that I was meant for more than this. I am incredibly happy that I went through the pain to find happiness at the other end of the misery. I am grateful to my second (and FINAL!) husband, Paul, who loves me like crazy and who is also understanding of WHY I need to write about this time in my life and is completely supportive. He knows what I know – that other people NEED this kind of book to know the following things:
- You are not alone. Many people are in a bad situation and need a way out. My ex really made me feel like it was just me. But it wasn’t.
- Laughter really is the best medicine. I could look back over my marriage and be extremely bitter (and for a while, I was), OR I can choose to laugh at the situation because it is behind me now.
- In order for you to be happy, someone else may not be happy. You need to accept this and move on, because you are not responsible for someone else’s happiness! The only thing you can control is yourself. They will try to blame you for their misery, but you just have to ignore that line of bull and move forward.
So, while all the feels are coming up, the writing is incredibly cathartic. And I really hope that I can somehow get this book published. And I really hope that you people will buy it, so that I can write MORE hilariously real books. There’s not an ounce of fiction here. I am not that talented. I write about real life with a funny spin.
Carrie Fisher, in her book Wishful Drinking, said, “If my life wasn’t funny, it would just be true. And that is unacceptable.” I agree wholeheartedly, Carrie!