A couple of years ago, in the middle of studying for comprehensive exams and working on a grant proposal for a local agency, I decided it was time to write a book. I'd had an idea rattling around in my head for a while, and writing a book was on my bucket list before bucket lists became a "must have." So, I did. Write a book, I mean.

And it was fun - a lot of fun, actually. As I moved forward in school, passed my exams, and began on the endless journey towards the dissertation proposal, creative writing became a huge stress reliever. I'd click back and forth between writing sentences like, "The matched pairs t-test, also called the repeated measures t-test, will be used to analyze the data and the significance level, or p value, is set at p <.05," and writing sentences like, "After a minute I wriggled my way back out and stood, breathin’ hard in the cool, late mornin’ mountain air, pretendin’ my hands wasn’t shakin’ when I lit a cigarette and took a deep drag."

Luckily, I never confused the two. Wouldn't that have been interesting?

Throughout the process of writing, I never really thought ahead; I just wrote until I finished telling the story. Even afterwards, when mailing out query letters, I didn't really think ahead. I just took each step as it came, which, as I think about it, seems to be a pattern with me. That's how I've done most everything in life. Finished with the BA? The MS is next! Done with that? An EdD is next! So when a contract came - the next step - I signed it. That's when it first hit me. Holy crap, people might actually read this! As crazy as it sounds, since I'd never really looked forward during the process, I'd never really considered that someday someone might read what I'd written.

With awareness came trepidation. I started questioning everything I wrote. Is this sentence redundant? Is that the proper adjective? Should I even use an adjective? Is that too many characters? Are the chapters too long? My stress-reliever stopped relieving stress, and I found myself stuck, too full of insecurities to write.

Until today - a gorgeous day, I might add - when on the way home from my sons' school, it hit me: I feel like writing. And I'm going to write chapter 17 exactly the way I want to write it, even if that means there are too many characters. Proofing, editing, querying - all that can come later. Or not. Right now I just want to write.
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Published on November 04, 2011 10:35 • 76 views

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