Is your book calling you? Will you answer the call?
Contributor
Written by
Phyllis Smith
November 2017
Revising
Contributor
Written by
Phyllis Smith
November 2017
Revising

Today I started reading the first draft of my book. Like many of you, I have had a book inside of me for a long time. I kept thinking that if I did nothing it would go away. But it never went away. The book has always been with me. Its been my constant companion, lurking in the shadows of my thoughts and dreams. It emerges when I least expect it. Sometimes it shows up when I'm quietly journalling in the morning. Or when I'm praying. Or even when I'm at home at night preparing dinner. My book continues to show up, calling out to me, time and time again. So one day, I answered its call and signed up for a writing class at the library. It was being taught by a local author. It was a short class and very harmless, right? It was my first writing class since college. It was a Memoir class. I had never heard of a Memoir. Was that type of book was that? So I took the class. I even wrote a short essay. The year was 2011. I placed the essay in a folder, filed it way and went on with life. A few years later, my book called to me again. So, I signed up for an online writing class this time. I also joined a writers group. When I arrived for our first meeting, I realized I was the youngest person in the group. I was in my 40's. Everyone else was older and retired. Also, they all seemed to know each other. That was my first and last time attending that group. A few more years passed and my book started calling again. I woke up one day and heard the name of the book and saw an image of the cover. What was this? Why was this pesky book bothering me? The year was 2016. I started writing again. This time I finished the online course I started a few years ago. I also joined a writers group: The National Association of Memoir Writers (NAMW). I decided to go all in at this time. On one of the NAWM monthly calls, a man from Nanowrimo spoke to us. He invited all of us to join the contest. It was free and would help me write. So I joined. At the end of November, I had more than 50k words. I had won the contest. I also had completed the first draft of my book. Finally, I had finished my book! I was so happy. I posted it on Facebook and everyone congratulated me. I was so excited. Now I was going to be an author, I thought. Little did I know I had just begun the first part of a very long process of writing a book. I signed up for a writers conference in May. I planned to edit my book and prepare a proposal to submit to an agent at the conference. I decided to take the Christmas holidays off and revisit my manuscript in the New Year. In January 2017, I printed my book out for the first time. It was 230 pages. I was overwhelmed with joy. I had written a book. I never thought I could achieve something like this. But then it hit me. I had no clue how to take this very raw material and make it into a manuscript for submission. That is when I realized I needed help. Fast forward to November 2017. Today, I picked up my book draft and started to read it. I found myself engrossed in this incredible story. Again my book was calling me. Not this abstract notion of a book. But a real tangible book draft in need of revision. Would I answer the call again and finish what I started. "Yes", I said to myself. Then, I picked up the book and started to read it with pen and highlighter in hand. 

Cheers!

Phyllis

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