I thought I was done. I really did. I had written a book.
The manuscript that I had been working for almost 2 years had finally reached the stage of the game when it was time to really get serious about publication.
I learned how to write a book proposal (which is no small collection of words!). And, I wrote one. Some publishers were even interested. One was really interested. I knew with a little more attention I'd be on my way to the author track. Visions of my book launch party filled my daydreams with glee.
I was ready to be done with this project. It had taken enough out of me. I had "done my time" putting butt to computer chair.
I was ready for an editor to hold my words in hand and do that thing I'd heard they'd do: tear it a part (to make it better of course).
But then something happened.
I went to Africa-- a land of so much fertile soul filled ground for me.
In November with Feed The Children, I crossed the ocean for another big adventure in Kenya. And one night at dinner when Kevin and I happened to be alone, I just came out with it my stirrings.
"I am not done with this book. I need to start over."
Kevin, knowing his task master wife well, looked at me with eyes of disbelief. "What??"
Yup. I knew in my gut was true. I'd already made the decision to start again.
Not because the details I was seeking to narrate in the story had changed. Or because I suddenly realized I needed a whole new writing style. Or even because I lost the courage to tell the story I started to tell when I began with chapter one.
No, I needed to start over because I didn't write the book I was meant to write.
I needed to re-write the whole manuscript.
Many of the bolts and hinges of the story I wanted to tell were there but the framework and the intent was all off.
I needed write about how pain can be a catalyst for transformation and in particular how relationships can be spiritual tools of such. Parts of the old story would be there but the voice would be altogether different.
But the thing is I am not very good at starting over. Though I feel writing is an art form and so I guess that makes me an artist-- I am not your typical artist type. I don't like open-ended possibilities. I don't like perfectionist driven dragging your feet deadlines. I'm a "getter done" kind of girl even if I post blogs with misspelled words.
And here I am in January, staring at a manuscript that needs new life. How could this have happened?
I'm going to do it though. I'm not going to be afraid to start over. Because this is what I know in my heart of hearts: what I could have offered you would have been good but what I could offer you might just be great. So why not?