I’ve been in Paris for three weeks and have managed to create a life where I can write to my heart’s content. I can be a real writer in Paris just like Hemingway.
Talk about putting pressure on myself.
So for the last while, when I haven’t been traipsing around in search of the perfect café, I’ve been going through my blog posts from last year, trying to reshuffle, edit and add content to make a manuscript of sorts. But yesterday, I realized that it just wasn’t working.
Three events happened to help me with this realization:
- I dreaded working on the manuscript. One must always follow one’s enthusiasm, and I wasn’t enthused about the project.
- My first book that I made at Lulu.com arrived in the mail. Though I’m incredibly impressed with the book binding, paper quality and overall product that Lulu created… the typos and errors that I made horrified me. But not enough to go back and fix them. Just enough to let go of the project. So if you order it, be ready for typos. They are staying in and I’m moving on.
- I channeled Ernest Hemingway. I actually wrote in my journal with Hemingway. I asked him for guidance and he gave me guidance. Yes, I wrote a question, then on the next line, I wrote “Hemingway:” and he answered in a voice that was my voice but also not my voice. It was a voice that seemed wiser than myself. And that guy set me straight. He doesn’t mince words. He asked me why on earth I want to go through my blog posts from a time that I was so miserable in Los Angeles during a time when I’m so happy in Paris. Good point, Hemingway. Good point.
So that was that. When I decided that I wouldn’t continue writing a manuscript made from old blog entries, my entire being expanded. Ahhh, I can now go out and enjoy my time in Paris. Ahhh, I can sort through my photos and post a few to Facebook. Ahhh, I can write whatever I want. Even though I always could.
I can now let myself off the hook that I put myself on.
So now, inside of 24 hours, I feel like I’m finally living in Paris. In fact, I’ve become somewhat of a domestic goddess. I tidy up the apartment, make a meal, throw in a load of laundry, then walk around the city to find a café where I can sit, sip, read and write for an hour or two. Then I return to la maison to practice my online French classes, putter online and have dinner with Christophe.
This feels better than trying to write the best book known to mankind.
See here’s the thing:
What if my blog is it? What if there is no book in it? What if there is no screen play? No Rachel McAdams playing me in the blockbuster motion picture? No Ewan McGregor playing the leading man? Nothing but the blog for the sake of itself?
What if The Book itself is dead and The Blog is where it’s at? Not just for my blog and book but for everyone’s blogs and books. What if the Kindle and iPad, with all their downloading capabilities, are shifting the importance of Being A Published Author to How Many Hits You Get In A Day?
Plus, I’ve already been a published author. Twice.
What if the publisher dies a slow death just like the record stores did?
What if, while this shift is happening, I’ve been wasting time trying to turn a blog into a book, when really I could have just been concentrating on good blog posts?
“When you do well, when you do your best, people notice.”
— Oprah Winfrey
Plus, yesterday I received this comment on my blog when I slapped up a video of a little girl dancing:
- cute! but you are a writer! I want to hear about more what is inside your head! AND your heart! Speak! You are holding back you big tease! ;-D
And I thought, You’re right.
Some part of me judged The Blog as not as important as The Book. Yesterday, I was tweaking the Great And Powerful Book but then threw up a video on my blog and called it a day.
It was a cute video, don’t get me wrong. But I could have taken it further. I could have written beautifully about the Fête de la Musique in Paris. It was a magical evening, in fact. But I was lazy. I admit it.
So now, this domestic goddess bloggess is making The Blog THE THING I DO rather than trying to make The Blog the Book. And when I write the book* it will be the book, not the blog turned into a book. Geesh. Why? Because I’m following my enthusiasm and I’m the boss of me.
Aw shucks. Glad to hear it.
So I’m going to Hemingway the heck out of this blog.
Hemingway: Are you now.
Who said that?
*Update: A year later, I ended up writing that book. It’s coming out in February 2014 through the lovely publisher Sourcebooks. YEAH!