Where did Amy go? Part 2

by Amy on September 13, 2018

Last week I mentioned I’ve been marinating in the blahs…

I blamed the stars, well Mars Retrograde to be exact.

Yeah well, that *might* not be the whole story.

You see I’ve been working on a memoir. You know that long term project you start that you *think* might take a year or so? Well my memoir project has officially advanced beyond the one year mark and even the two year mark and is now taking “years.”

A few months back I completed a third round of edits and closed my laptop triumphantly, feeling like I had accomplished something H.U.G.E. I was done. I had written a book. A good one. One that would make you, dear reader, laugh and cry and think and maybe even change.

With the self assurance of someone who had just written a NYTimes Bestseller, I sent the manuscript to a handful of *lucky* beta readers.

The feedback started to roll in… and that’s when I learned…

I am so NOT there. Not. Even. Close.

Writing a book has taken me to the darkest places, it has made me admit things about myself I thought I’d never have to admit, it has revealed to me my greatest insecurities and my biggest character flaws, it has challenged me to be accountable to myself in new ways and come to terms with the bad writing, the lack of feedback, the not knowing, the fear of failure and embrace a faith that says listening to what the heart asks of you will be okay in the end.

I started this memoir after hearing myself once again exhort my clients to “get into the discomfort zone.” This is where you build your courage, where you learn what you are made of, where you grow, where you get what you want… eventually.

I decided to write the book because I was too comfortable.

And so here I am sitting in a big, messy, stinky, itchy, burning, pit of discomfort — and I have been in here for YEARS.

To hell with the “discomfort zone!” Please don’t ever write a book.

Unless you are one of those, who like me, has to despite…

The logistics. How do you make time to write crappy prose that no one will likely read when there are so many more urgent things… like laundry and the gas bill, field trip permission forms and the mess in the kitchen.

The fear…which is only compounded after conversations with other writers. How will you get it published? Do you have a platform? Have you gotten an agent?

The vulnerability. What will they think once they know my darkest secrets? Will my friends shun me? Will family ever speak to me again?

The lack of feedback. Every day just trudging along, writing a little bit, most of it shit, into the void where no one comments on or clicks or likes any of your work.

The fear (again because that’s the biggest one)… That whispers “Who do you think you are?” And “What if nobody reads this book? Or what if only one person reads it. And it’s your mother in law who will surely hate you after reading this book.”

And finally there is the disappointment. After you think you are finished, and you wrote something good, only to learn that you wrote something ok that is pretty readable but a little whiny and hard to follow in the middle.

Like I said, don’t write a book.

Unless you’re one of those, like me who has to. And you know that despite the big, messy, stinky, itchy, burning, pit of discomfort, you will keep going for as long as it takes. You will eventually —one day— close your laptop triumphantly, knowing this time, you actually did it. You wrote a good book. A book that will make them laugh and cry and think and change.

If you are one of those…

You need support if you ever hope to get to the third edit. You can see why, yes? After much disappointment, criticism, self-doubt, discouragement and many a logistical snafu Ginger Moran is the only reason I am still working on my book. And she is offering a free course FOR ONE WEEK ONLY called Tell Your Story. I highly recommend you CLICK HERE to get it now before it’s gone. If you are one of those who has to write, you’ll need this, I promise you.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Kari Simonson September 13, 2018 at 3:45 pm

Hi Amy,
Thank you for your honest post- if you’d like I thought I’d offer my new favourite writing book…”Ensouling Language” by Stephen Harrod Buhner. Best wishes on the book!
K

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Charlotte September 13, 2018 at 6:49 pm

You are the most honest blogger I read, and I always read your posts. You give me hope when sometimes I just want to hide the “myself” from the world, when happiness seems out of reach, and when I’d like to sleep for exactly 121 continuous hours. I’d say to you, Amy, stay true to yourself, but I know it’s not necessary to say that because YOU WILL! And you also will finish your book in your own good time.

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Amy September 14, 2018 at 1:58 pm

Thank you Charlotte. I know how that is. And your words ring true.

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Dena September 13, 2018 at 9:47 pm

Wow, Amy. I can SO relate. As you know. And I haven’t even gotten to beta readers yet! Something to look forward to, eh?

It was cathartic to read this because as you say, writing The Book is a largely invisible practice. Just reading this helped me to feel seen, and a part of something bigger: The struggle of those of us who have to do it.

Thank you always for sharing the most vulnerable stuff.
Xoxo

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Amy September 14, 2018 at 1:58 pm

I appreciate you Dena!

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Rita September 26, 2018 at 1:55 pm

My dear Amy
Whether your book is completed or not, published or not, good or not —– you have already written a best-seller through the years of your sharing, encouragement and empowerment. That is the authenticity of your brazenness that your worldwide readers have come to appreciate I’m sure. Nahhhh, let nothing dampen your spirit. You’re an amazing lady Amy!
Rita xx

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