So it took me at least three months longer than I had blithely assumed it would, but I finished a first draft of my memoir, the one thatâ€™s about the weirdness of weight loss surgery, and all the attendant Important Life Changes and mind-bending crazinesses that occur and blah blah blah etc. And when I typed â€œThe Endâ€ I sat there for a full minute, looking at those words, expecting toâ€”I donâ€™t know. Burst into tears? Have my heart burst in a shower of sparks that spell out â€œYOU ARE JUST SO AWESOMEâ€ above my desk? Something. I expected a dramatic reaction, physical, emotional, emotional couched in the physical, but mostly I was just so relieved to be done with the goddamn thing, I shut my computer and went downstairs and out for a drink.
The book isâ€”way too big. Itâ€™s 393 pages, 120,000-ish words. Itâ€™s enormous, bloated, a mess. Itâ€™s hysterical and bumbling and all over the place; it rushes through the important stuff (and then I got surgery!), and lingers over the less important stuff (I believe it was fifty degrees that day, or maybe about fifty-five? It looked like rain, too; I enjoy cheese!; Have you ever seen a puppy? Like, really looked at one?)
And that? Was six months in the writing. So thatâ€™s six months of me talking about myself in way too much insane, bizarre detail, to myself. Thatâ€™s six months of wallowing in my neuroses, my mistakes, my neurotic mistakes, all my flaws and everything thatâ€™s ever made me cringe about myself. Thatâ€™s a lot of whining. That is entirely too much of me for entirely too long.
Holy Christ, am I tired of myself.
I think itâ€™s going to be a good book, once I whack out the whining parts, shore up the brutally honest parts, work on getting to the point, the meat, the heart of the matter, throw in a couple of knock-knock jokes. I think once I revise it without mercy, readers will hopefully not get sick of me and my voice and this thing I did and this story about a person I was and the person I became and the person I stayed all the way through. I hope itâ€™ll be a book that means something to somebody. It means a lot to me. It means I wrote 120 thousand words, for one. Those are a lot of words! For two, it means my agents will have something of substance to shill, besides my promises that I am totally awesome and can write a totally awesome book.
Itâ€™s all printed out (WOW IT IS A LOT OF PAGES) and waiting for me to get to it with a red pen and a steely resolve. In the meantime, I am writing a YA novel that is based on how much I hate a very terrible song that I kept hearing on the radio, and I am having so much fun with it I cannot even stand it. I love this. I want to keep doing this. Because this is what I have figured out: I want to write. Someday I will write a Magnum Opus, a Masterpiece, my Am I Robert Penn Warren Yet? Work of Art.
But mostly, right now and right always, I just want to write, and I want to keep writing, and I want to write everything. I want to write romance and fantasy and YA and romantic fantasy YA and science fiction and humorous essays and urban paranormals and voice-driven literary fiction and maybe I will even take a whack at mysteries or thrillers or horror or some new kind of twisty genre that I make up out of my own head. Pretty much anything thatâ€™s not a memoir, really. I want to write it.