About 2 years ago, a friend of mine offered a book project based on an essay I wrote. She would like me to expand on it to make it into a whole book. I agreed. So we talked some more about it and off I went to do the research. I was expecting at the time, so she didn’t gave me a contract plus I wasn’t famous to warrant an advance just yet. Because I had published a book before that I worked on before I had a contract, I agreed to it. After all, this is not very uncommon so off I went to research and gathering materials needed for the book.
Along the way, as my pregnancy advanced, I get lazy. The thought of sitting and typing doesn’t excite me much. And my editor, bless her heart, didn’t push me to finish it. She was very generous and let me off the hook. After all I did the research, all I need to do is to write it down and complete it after the baby is born. We both thought it wouldn’t take more than a month to finish it. So I put my feet up and wait for the little bun to cook in the oven.
As life would have it, having a newborn is exhausting and I want to make sure my baby is breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months of his little live. Writing the book just isn’t top priority anymore. But of course as life would have it, things happens and to make the story short, my editor moved out to another publishing house but my project is not something she could put out there. She still encourages me to finish writing it because well, a) I already started it, b) she has connection, so even if it can’t be published at her current house, she could find other publishing house.
These makes sense of course. However now that she’s officially no longer my editor, I suddenly have no one to read my draft and criticise my work and with no contract whatsoever, I am under no obligation to anyone about anything. Then, I read the news that another famous person is going to do a project very similar to mine. Suddenly I seem to lost all energy I had for it. I don’t have any incentive except maybe a promise of the finished book to the people I interviewed for the project and perhaps to recoup my research cost. I am normally an optimistic person, but right now I feel very pessimistic. Do little ole unknown me stands a chance against a well known writer?
Should I even bother writing it up? Yes of course you should, said my friend. But who’s going to read it? No, I don’t mean the finished book, but who’s going to read my draft? Who’s going to pick at my writing, cross out my run on sentences and tell me to make it better? Inspired by an article in a magazine, I tried to form a writing group. Not succeeding. Perhaps because I don’t try hard enough, the people I asked were more interested in writing a book as a group as opposed to helping each other with their projects. Perhaps I should ask other people. But if past experience are anything, I doubt I’ll find someone who’s on similar boat as I am. Believe me I did tried with other project and it failed spectacularly. Not unless there’s an actual carrot dangled. Without that carrot, no one gives a crap.
So, what would become of this particular project? Why am I so scared of writing it? Why do I feel I need someone to read it over? Why would anyone want to read my progress for free? I don’t know. I’m waiting for some fairy godeditor, as opposed to godmother, to guide me over but I guess I just have to pep myself to finish it. Obviously.
sweet God, give me strength, lucidity and clarity.