I’m working on a few different works of writing born from my time abroad in the Caribbean and West Africa right now and… well… actually, “right now” doesn’t about cover it.
More accurate: polishing a mostly completed book proposal I’ve been poking at since 2011 and also now I’m flailing around (in a fun and yet also sometimes emotionally rough way…) with the follow-up to said nicely proposed memoir. But the bulk of the work really started back in… hooh… I’d say the summer of 2011.
The goodies within are tales of silly, leafy, dangerous and amazingly hot places and things to eat and they’re connected by overarching stories of important life things I learned during my adventures abroad. And while, as you know (as I’ve written about before), I feel super icky about sharing a lot of things from my life sometimes because I don’t like or want to think of myself as a commodity… every time I come back to these memoir-ish projects I’m smacked by the importance (to me, at least) of the ideas and realizations driving them and I am reminded that, yes, it is worthwhile to keep working on these things.
Because developing these book projects means advancing a conversation about issues I believe should be more conversed about (what it means to be a woman in the world these days and what it means to be a global citizen these days and also how to most effectively stifle one’s gastrointestinal problems when communal squat toilets are the only option) and, y’know, somehow I continue to find the writing funny and thoughtful and I even amuse MY TOTALLY CRITICAL SELF after several years and that is RARE for me. In fact, I already hate that sentence I just wrote but for the sake of making my point, I won’t erase it. (Lucky you, reader!)
Believe me, I understand the necessity to murder one’s darlings when it comes to pieces of writing that have to *B draws finger across neck*. There are more literary bodies heaped under this surprisingly camouflaging Ikea couch skirt than you will ever know. But these memoir-y darlings I’m talking to you about, I don’t think they’re supposed to be axed. Or not yet.
But the more I read about marketing memoirs and the more I talk to agents and read about what it means to publish something like a memoir through a traditional publisher, the more I feel capital-yuck GROSS.