After approximately 10 years, I’m am finally finished my first book, End of the Rope: Finding My Way Through Mountains and Life. On International Women’s Day, I pressed SEND, and off it flew to my editor at Random House, Anne Collins, and now it is with the copy editor. It is completely, irrevocably, terrifyingly out of my hands. I can no longer change a name, remove an incriminating detail, soften a snarky comment…
I am terrified about how the world will receive this book, I always have been, and I almost gave up so many times because of my fear of what others will think. I know I will piss off a few people. Mostly men. I seem good at that, in spite of my deep rooted, almost pathological need to be liked and approved of, but I find Rebecca Solnit’s recent essay in The Guardian reassuring. She says: “Being unable to tell your story is a living death. The right to speak is a form of wealth that is being redistributed. No wonder powerful men are furious.”
Through this whole process, year after year, I wrote, published stories that most certainly pissed off a certain someone (I compared him to a humping bunny, not my most subtle metaphor) and agonized over disapproval, stewing in guilt and fear. But I kept writing. That was the key. I kept forging forward. This is the main theme in my memoir. Momentum. Feel the fear and discomfort and do it anyway. It’s something I’m still learning. I’m a work in progress.
Solnit quotes “Ursula Le Guin: “We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains.” My book, End of the Rope, is my new mountain.