‘Fessing Up’


It is one thing to embark on the ambitious task of writing a book, it is quite another to admit that you are. It was weeks before I told my husband, months before the kids knew. I started in May, in October I confided the secret to one of my sisters. When asked, “What are you up too?” I hid behind the mundane list of things I always did. It is difficult to say, “I’m writing a book!”

An elderly friend (age 85 +) brought me up short. We hadn’t seen each other for a year. We shared a love of quilting and she asked eagerly what I had done since we had last talked. I stumbled over a paltry list of projects I had turned out on my sewing machine. “What have you been doing?” She asked, her tone of voice clearly implying, “Is that all?” Thankfully she launched excitedly into her own list of accomplishments. For the moment I was saved.

I was working at the computer for three or more hours, four to five days a week. It absorbed the majority of my time and I spent less time on sewing and other projects. The second book was beating its way out of me as I finished the first. With the completion of the first book, it was time to ‘fess up.’ I had read that only ten percent of people who begin to write a book actually finish it. That fact gave me confidence. I had accomplished something. Slowly I began to admit to others what I was doing. Writing was now as much a part of me as cooking and sewing.

I had thought that simply completing a book was enough of a goal. It was not, it is not. With each goal I attain, another is waiting. At times the subsequent goal is obvious and easily accomplished, at others it is elusive and daunting. Though I have come a ‘fur piece’ since I put the first word on the computer, I have a ‘further piece’ yet to go.

Will my books ever see a publisher? I don’t know. I am not yet ready to tackle that goal. Somewhere I heard, or read, that Earnest Hemingway re-wrote The Old Man and the Sea three-hundred times. I know myself well enough to realize three-hundred re-writes would take more patience than I possess, but I will do several at least before I am ready to think about submitting my work. I do have a ‘fur piece’ to go.


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