I’ve been neglecting my blog and failed to announce my biggest news yet. Could be a sign that I should renew my commitment to this website. My book, End of the Rope: A Mountain Memoir, will be published in spring 2018 with Random House! AND I have an agent, Samantha Haywood of Transatlantic. I like to do things backwards, first get a contract, then get an agent. I’m currently in the throes of yet another rewrite, but this time there is an end in sight, I’m finally getting published, (and paid!) and I’m working with an amazing Random House editor, Amanda Lewis. So I feel I’m in good hands.
By the time 2018 comes along, this will have been an eleven year project – or 55 years, depending on how you look at it (57 by then – yikes!) I have a file of notes for a book of personal essays on the writing process I’ve been through, sort of a what-not-to-do writing book. I wouldn’t presume to write a “how to” book. It has been a long, convoluted path to publishing, but the main thing I’ve learned (or, to be precise, am learning) is to trust myself. I’ve had many many wonderful mentors, and needed each one, but in the end, it is my book, my life, and it is my judgement I have to trust. Writing a memoir, which has a major theme of self-doubt, is not easy to do while inflicted with self-doubt, but I wrote my way through it and I must say, I’m in a much better place for it. Better than psychotherapy, though I can see I’ll be needing some of that in the near future as I bare my life (and other people’s lives) to the world. As I re-read, this time with the knowledge that anyone who wants to will be reading this memoir, I shake my head and wonder, “Holy shit! What was I thinking?” I’m expecting the next phase of this journey to be as rocky as the first phase. But I’m assuming it will all be grist for the personal essay mill 🙂