…like courage, certainty, a sense of purpose…motivation!
I have been on-again/off-again working on a book about keeping journals, featuring my journal pages (the above is an example) for about four years now, possibly even longer.
It’s not about ‘art’ it’s about vulnerability, honesty, my heart to your heart, the depth of a daily life….I imagine a vulnerable book with my homely, shabby journal pages and my take on the creative life and why keeping a journal is such an essential practice for creative people…or well, just people, actually.
However, I veer wildly with this project from deep immersion, drive, fun, certainty ‘Write the book you would love to READ, Helen’, write to your friends and loved ones, write to all the people struggling to find purpose or to hold it or to white-knuckle-it through the hard stuff…
…..to a stultifying self-doubt, agonising inertia, FEAR FEAR FEAR – – ‘why would you do this? WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? no one wants to read this self-indulgent drivel…people will make fun of it…you’re a child…this is beyond pathetic…what are you, eleven? … this will be the kiss of death to your writing life….’ Y’know, that really helpful internal looping/mental torture that we are capable of inflicting on ourselves…
I would NEVER talk to another person like that….but I can squash myself into the ground without a second thought.
There is no middle-ground with this project….no days of ‘It’s fine, I’m not totally sure but I’ll keep on trucking…see what happens….’ It’s either HELL YES! or omigod-no-never-what-was-i-thinking-i’m-going-to-go-and-live-in-a-cave-and-learn-to-live-without-people-and-derive-nutrition-by-sucking-rocks….
Here is what I have so far:
20+ years of my journals
Four long essays to sit alongside the journal pages, about keeping a journal, life, creativity and self-care practices…
A scanner (I have scanned about 1/20th of what I need to scan – it’s a huge job…)
….& as of last week I have a designer! A really talented designer who is WILLING TO WORK ON THIS BOOK, AT MY SNAIL PACE, ON TOP OF ALL OF HIS OTHER WORK, & WHO IS WILLING TO DO IT FOR NOTHING UP FRONT BECAUSE HE IS A FRIEND AND LIKES THE IDEA OF THE PROJECT…
All that is stopping this book happen now is me and my own ‘stuff’.
I SO need to get out of my own way…..which is easier said than done.
I don’t have a publisher (I haven’t looked for one). I am thinking I would probably self-publish this, using some kind of crowd-sourcing thing whereby people basically pay for the book up-front, before it has gone to production.
So yeah, ….your thoughts, advice, courage, opinions, boots-up-bum, prayers, links, love, advice, frank and open discussion are all very welcome right now.
Can someone please give me a shove?