On Writing, and Friendship

Does anyone else have writing ADD? I’ve got two readers for my memoir, and I should be working on query letters and proposals and all that stuff, and instead, I fell back into an old novel. It’s the first one I ever wrote years ago, and I took it out of the file cabinet to see if it was worth salvaging. Well. I think it might be. And that’s great! Except now I’m distracted, and I just want to work on this now, and I have ideas for where to take the story and I think there could even be a sequel kind of thing…and all of this is more interesting than query letters and proposals. Sigh.

I also have so many friends and former co-workers saying they can’t wait to read the memoir, and that’s exciting! But it’s frustrating, too, because if I’m serious about trying traditional publishing, it will take ages. First you have to query tons of agents, then once you find the right one, they’ll make you revise again (Just guessing. Doubtful the book will be perfect in their eyes.) Then they have to find a publisher for you, then you probably have to wait forever before you actually have a beautiful hardbound little book in your hands.

But if I self-published, it could be available…immediately! I do like immediate gratification. And to be honest, I’m feeling discouraged about the odds of finding an agent. There are so many good books written every year, and I know memoirs don’t sell as well as fiction so they have to be amazing to even be published. I’m struggling to believe that my story is that compelling to a large audience. I’m pretending that I think it’s well-written, and I think there are some widely relevant themes, but enough to sell so many copies to make an agent/publisher take a chance on it? I don’t know.

Maybe the problem is that I just read “Furiously Happy” by Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess), and her memoir was just…awesome. Hysterically funny, touching, sad, inspiring, comforting. I want to run out and get her other book right now. I can’t compete with THAT. I know what she’d say to me, though. “Don’t f@*&^%$ compete with me! Do your own thing because you’ve got your own awesome s*#@% going on!”

So here’s my new plan, decided upon this very moment: I’m going to allow myself a break from the memoir while my readers read. Once I get their feedback, I will revise based on that, and then I will dive into queries. And proposals, ugh. Maybe I’ll start with the agents who don’t require proposals for memoirs! Until then, I’ll work on the novel. It will be my distraction while I wait for my readers to finish.

Whew, glad we got that taken care of. Maybe you can help with my other problem. I’ve got this friend. She used to be one of my best friends, then we drifted apart a few years ago. At first I tried really hard to keep it going, but she would always put me off or not respond to texts. I gave up. Many months later, she was back, apologizing, and we got together again. It was always sporadic because…well, life, you know. That was fine. But I’ve tried a few more times to get together with her, and she’s back to the same habits.

I’ve heard that same quote that you have, about not making someone a priority if they don’t do the same for you. But here’s my question: what if it’s not about that? What if she’s feeling anti-social and isolating herself because of emotional issues? I’ve never known her to struggle with depression but I know how that can be hidden. She’s been through a lot the last year or so, and I remember when I was feeling really bad, I pushed away almost all of my friends because it was too hard to connect with people. What if that’s what she’s doing? Does it matter? I guess the end result is the same. The difference would be how I feel about it. Right now I feel hurt, disappointed, and ready to be done with it. If I truly thought it was caused by emotional issues, maybe I would be more forgiving. Then again, this is a long-term habit, not something recent. So maybe it’s just an indication that we’ve outgrown the friendship. It served its purpose at the time, and now we both need different things from different people, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I need to not take it personally, and focus on the wonderful friendships I do have. Do you agree? Have you outgrown friends before? Is it always this awkward and painful?

Oh, and one last thing: Yay! The temperature in my house is consistently above 60 degrees! We paid someone from a heating company 50 bucks to tell us that the system is working as it should, it’s just that 1) the unit for the downstairs is too small and 2) it’s not the right system for this climate. We have a heat pump with electric furnace for supplementary heat, and it just can’t keep up with the frigid Midwestern winters. And neither of those things can be remedied by the home warranty. We’ll just have to make do until we can save up to replace the furnace with a gas unit. Until then, anyone use radiators? Do they put out good heat? Are they worth trying to get the boiler functioning again? We have evidence of water damage from them on the floors; is that a big problem?

Thanks for listening today, friends. You’re as much therapy for me as my puppy is. IMG_4874

4 thoughts on “On Writing, and Friendship

    • LOL yes, there’s a lot about her that makes me feel better about myself! I think she’s brilliant, turning her struggles into humor that so many people can identify with.

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