There are so many things about writing a book that are not what I expected.
When I finished the first draft of the manuscript of my memoir, We End in Joy: Memoirs of a First Daughter, and mailed it to the publisher, in my naivete I thought I was finished. I whooped and hollered and heaved a big sigh of relief. I had a lot of time invested in that book. I called all my friends and family. My sweet man took me out for a celebratory dinner. . . Oh, but it was just beginning. There was the wait for acceptance from the publisher, the writing of the second draft and then editing and proofreading and decisions about the title and the cover. That manuscript has come back to me, three times, since that day in March, 2011.
I told my publisher that I wanted to be like Harper Lee, the elusive and enigmatic author of To Kill a Mockingbird. She was a veritable recluse and most people didn’t even know what she looked like. In honor of Miss Lee, I planned to be a mysterious hermit myself. The publisher laughed. She’d heard it before, she told me, and added that that plan was no longer feasible. “ Successful authors are authors who promote their books,” she told me, “you’ll need to have a website and of course you’ll blog and tweet. . . “
Hang on a minute! Blogging is one thing. Even though I hate the crass and lumpy sound of the word, it’s just online journaling and I journal almost every day anyway, so it’s a small step to share it every now and then. But tweeting? Oh no. I don’t think so. That will be my line in the sand – Twitter. No can do. It’s important to know where those lines are and there is one of mine. In my best Scarlet O’Hara imitation, I declared, “As God is my witness, I will not tweet!” Eyes rolled, technologically out-of-touch, middle-aged writers are probably nothing new in the hallowed halls of publishing. But I won’t, I swear. . .
So I will blog. I mean I’m a writer, it’s what I do. And probably you’ll have to beg me to stop. I’ll likely become a blog monster. And while my blogs may ramble around and touch on all kinds of subjects – I’ve been keeping of list of ideas like quantum physics and beekeeping, my grandfathers dreams and walking the spiral path of the labyrinth for instance – I do promise to try to keep them short and sweet. And I thank you, readers, for checking in and bearing with me as I walk this strange new path as writer.