Read it and Cheer?

July 1, 2008

That was my first thought. My first emotional response…happiness, relief. I saw the upside of it all. Yay!, there’s nothing wrong with me. I AM on schedule, on point. Doing mighty fine, right? Then. Reality. What? How long? It’s amazing how fast cheers can morph into sackcloth and ash. Read it and weep.

“It takes the average (new) author 5 to 8 years to finish the manuscript for a novel.”

What?!!! I didn’t even bookmark the BBC’s site for reference. I googled it, but can’t find it now. Maybe my subconscious saw a red circle with a slash hovering over those words. Five to eight years…good lawd? I don’t have five to eight years to get this book outta me! Do I?

And hubby doesn’t make it any better. He clowns me, “Alright now, you know you’re gonna be 80 at your book signing.” Very funny. He knows what button to push — after I’ve scraped his nerves to the white meat lol. I don’t even tell him anymore what chapter I’m on when he asks — NUNYA!!

But all jokes aside, this can’t be right…or is it? And God, anyway you can poof pow and speed up this process…(nope, dig in and earn those stripes, chic!)

I know, I know. Process is process for a reason. And when you rush through process and purpose, ya miss golden nuggets you’ll need further down the line. Then what am I wussing talking about?

I guess I just don’t want to be thinking about this stuff years from now. There’s still this serious attraction to my handy shovel…we were friends for a long time…”bury it”. I have days where, I wish I could walk away from the book (but I can’t), it’s too big for me to birth. Too much. Then I remember sign after sign….big and small confirming this is my purpose.

If I dig even farther down into my angst, get really real with myself, I could probably divide this thing into two sections…1) Family, and 2) my inexperience as a writer. I’ll start with door #2 cos it’s easier. To be frank….dialogue is killin’ me…I don’t want to put the reader to sleep!…and who wants to read another abuse-survivor-themed journey…will readers get it?….do they care?…why do I write the way I do?…If Johnny went to the store for his Mama, I’ll write “Johnny looked down and carefully avoided every crack. A broken back was not on his Mama’s list of things to pick up from the store.” This writing thing seems to require just as much Love and acceptance of yourself as Life itself. Talk about the self-doubt hurdles, and insecurity long jumps…

Door #1 is a doozie, colossal….part of the final leg of total healing, and therapy for that matter. It probably needs its own post…but I’m on a roll. I love my fam, but will they still love me if I reveal their beloved was a child rapist? Sure, they think I’m (one of) the greatest now, but will they crucify I really wanna run the risk of being cutoff, when abandonment is/was (workin on it) such a painful issue for me. The way my fam handles issues is by not talking about them…not only am I gonna talk, but I’m gonna put it in writing? Huh? Nuff of that for now…

“I wonder why purpose doesn’t make sense sometimes.” That’s the exact thought that just ran through my mind. Could it be we smother purpose with assumptions, with anxieties that carry no relevance in the long-run? Probably. All I know right now is, be it 5, 8, or 10 years….this book is in me, and I gotta get it out, somehow. I will. Ashe.Selah

Holla at me authors….what were the shaky moments like for you?…how did you cope over the (inevitable) years?


8 Responses to “Read it and Cheer?”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    I completely understand where you are coming from, and I haven’t braved fiction yet. One thing that might help would be to break your novel into a short story or two, just so it doesn’t seem so overwhelming. That won’t make the finished product come any faster, however.

    Fitting writing into a full life is difficult and it’s especially tough when you are a fledgling writing. But the difficulties aren’t insurmountable.

  2. […] Wordsmith of the Month? Super cool!  The same evening I’m fighting off writer’s self-doubt, arms and fists fanning like a windmill lol, I get the message that I’m the Po.e.treat Poet […]

  3. Cynthia Says:


    It’s your story and only you can tell it. So what if others have wrote about it before, they aren’t you and they can’t write it like you can.

    You have a gift for words, don’t let your verbal dexterity die AND don’t let yourself become afraid of it.

  4. ashe.selah Says:

    Cynthia, your words rocked me, girl….speaking volumes to me…volumes! Thank u :).

  5. amzolt Says:

    Try this Space.

    There is a real “campus” quality and there’s a mess o’ stuff for writers…

    ~ Alex

  6. ashe.selah Says:

    Thanks Alex…checkin it out :)!

  7. Faraja Says:

    Ok I know this was posted a while ago – but I only just read it now…so I still have to comment 🙂

    You have such talent with writing – just look at this blog! I love the way you write…really beautiful to read 🙂 Your story may be similar to others, but it’s uniquely yours as well and only you can tell it and it will be a tool to heal others. And you know, the timing with God is perfect. The length of time it’ll take for it to be written is probably more to do with those who it will help – it will be finished at the perfect time for those who need to read it first.

  8. ashe.selah Says:

    Wow, Faraja. So grateful for your kind words. My story sure is a unique one…those who know the beginning, middle, and end are still baffled. I try to remember that alot of this is not about me, just had never applied those thoughts to the time to complete this book.

    Beautiful reminder…God’s timing is perfect :)!

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