A little over a year ago, I started writing a book. It’s still untitled, but it’s basically about my experience with losing infant twins and how my life was totally different before it all happened. It also talks about the amazing community of women I found online that helped me through my grief.
I started writing this book because I teach writing to 4th graders, and I was teaching them this lesson on how to come up with book ideas and I said the sentence aloud, “If there is a book that you want to read that doesn’t yet exist, you should write it!” As soon as I said it, I thought, “Uh, Christy? You need to take your own advice, yo!”
I remember one of the first things I did after my twins died was to look up books about grief from the library. My husband came home with a stack of books and as I started digging into them, I immediately felt dismayed. None of these books said anything about what I was feeling. They were so clinical, so full of cliches and so not….honest. There was nothing in any book I found about the rage and darkness I felt.
I think if there is one thing I am good at in life, it’s that I’m honest. Probably too honest sometimes, I’d even say. But there is SO much power in just knowing that what you are feeling is not just you.
So, anyway. I started writing this book. And I had this idea that I would start out each chapter with a real-life artifact (an e-mail, a text message, a photograph) that explored the topic of that chapter. And after I started writing, I really began to feel like I had something. I took chapters to critique groups, and shared some with acquaintances, and I was getting excellent feedback.
The more I wrote, the more excited I got. But, the thing is, you’re not really allowed to be excited. What I mean is that, although I feel like this book is one that I think should be read by others, I’m “supposed” to say that I know that the chances are slim, and I know I’m not even really a writer, and that I know that the market is saturated, and all the rest.
There is such a fine line when it comes to dreaming big. Have I had a moment where I pictured my name on a book in Barnes and Noble? Yep. Absolutely. Some people would tell me, “Go get it girl!” and others would say, “Be careful…it sounds like you’re getting your hopes up.”
People half-expect me to be self-depricating, saying, “Oh, it’s just for a hobby; I know it won’t result in anything. I’m not even really a writer.” And I fall into that trap, I do, but I’m trying really hard not to.
So, what is the different between hopes and dreams? And is getting your hopes up a bad thing? I, personally, think it’s so fun to dream. And think about all the exciting things that could happen. I absolutely also think it’s good to stay grounded in reality-it’s not like I’m quitting my job and banking on making millions of dollars as an author. I know the statistics.
Can you be confident and not cocky? Can you really want something and be persistent without being “out of touch”?
I recently auditioned for something, a kind of writing show in my area, and it has been a LONG time since I have wanted something so badly. I cannot stop thinking about it, it’s what my brain automatically settles on if ever left a moment to wander. I try to make it sound like, “Oh, I know my chances are so slim,” and that I’ll be totally ok if I’m not chosen, but the truth is…I WANT THIS.
Saying it like that makes me feel so vulnerable. It’s almost as if admitting that you care just makes you seem so fragile. What I know is that I have worked hard, I continue to work hard, and so wanting it can’t really hurt me. Even if I don’t say it aloud, I can’t deny how much I want this. To make it in the show, sure, but to have this book published and read by mamas living through that grief and pain-it means so much to me. I’m going to go for it.
I’m all in, folks!
What about you? What do you want?