Courage and “Slow Motion” by Dani Shapiro

16 May


I just finished a book by Dani Shapiro called “Slow Motion”  and my mind is reeling.  I had seen her speak locally at a Barnes & Noble about a month ago.  My friend had told me about a “Writers and Publishers” evening at Barnes and Noble, and, after having a couple of glasses of wine at a Chamber of Commerce networking event, I went over.

I figured I would stay a couple of minutes with the writer wannabees, and leave to go have some more wine at home.  Hate to drink too much and drive.

But, when I walked in, Dani was speaking about what happened with her first book and I was mesmerized by her story.  I realized I was in the presence of an actual published author who is successful.  Not that I think someone like that is a better superior species than the rest of us, but that she had the courage, talent, drive, etc. to really make my dream happen.  She did it.  She followed through.

And, what I really loved about her is her honesty.    She is not sugar coating this.  It was refreshing and fascinating.  Next, the publisher spoke.  Well, that’s for another blog.  Also very cool.

But back to Dani.  I just finished her first book and I loved it.  What I loved was her honesty and courage in writing the truth in all its gory detail.  No holds barred.

Why is this so admirable to me, right now, at this moment, you ask?  Because, I wrote my book and was brutally (almost) honest about what I had been going through and doing.  Certain friends enjoyed it and felt it had a lot of intrigue.

However, after my “edittor/copy/writing person had reviewed it, I followed her advice and, in my rewrite, took out the really shameful stuff.  Now it is a nice family friendly version which I am afraid isn’t the whole story.  It is a part of the story, but not the whole story.

It’s an issue for me.  And, after meeting my deadline with my rewrite, the woman did not review it as she told me she would, and left town with my book, yet again, in limbo.  I feel like I am not making any progress and it concerns me.

So, what I am looking for is someone to partner with me on my book who knows how to really make something sound good and will know how to help me with how to package it.  I don’t know if that explains what I need, but…. I have plenty of material, I just need help with making it sing and keeping it to it’s purpose.

I tend to throw alot in and when I go bakc to edit, I put stuff in that is already there someplace else so I tend to make it worse than before I started editting.

Another issue surfaced:  Dani’s book made me question whether I am really getting to the heart of my story.  I think I am, but I don’t know if I got the anguish described as well as she describes hers.  I could feel her confusion, feeling lost, and the other feelings as she described them.  I felt physically horrible and nervous when reading it as if she were describing me and my life.  I think that’s what made it so powerful for me.

When I wrote, I think I was going more for humor and lightness.  That’s what I do.  I blame myself and make a joke out of things.  But, the actuality of it is that it really sucked while it was happening and I still cry thinking about it.  I don’t know if I got that point across.  I may have sort of glossed over the heart-wrenching aspect of it.

Just food for thought.  The hard part about writing is that there is no easy answer.  Math was easier for me.  You were either right or wrong and there was an end.  This has no finite end.  You could torture yourself for days, or even years.

Ugh.  That’s why I want to work with someone – to bounce ideas off and let them do the hard work of editting/rewriting or whatever it’s called.  I shouldn’t call it editting.  I learned the hard way that editting is just checking for typos. Another costly mistake.  Still not sure what the re-helping with the writing – er is called

I’m realizing it’s all a learning process.  Let go and make mistakes.   It’s not happening on my schedule and that is probably one of God’s little lessons for me.  So, this is what I have learned to do when my brain is crazy with indecision, uncertainty and the felling of not making progress.  I say the following:

Breathe deeply.  Trust the process of life.  God loves me just as I am.  (Don’t listen to the ass holes tell me otherwise).  Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Trust the process.  I am whole as I am.  I don’t have to “do” anything to be loved.  I CAN love myself today – right now.

Thanks for listening.



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