Reflections on healing trauma, writing, and books by Tokyo-based memoirist
The Long Hike Towards Publication

The Long Hike Towards Publication

I was just making some tweaks to this website and I thought about all of the incarnations it has gone through. When I learned that websites existed in 1994, my first thought was, “I must have one.” I started my first one in 1995. It had a background that I drew with a blue ballpoint and a pink highlighter and then scanned, a few random facts about myself, and a button that said, “click here” that reloaded the page, just to mess with people.

For some reason, when I look up the history of this domain, it says it was created in 2005, but I know that’s way off. I’m pretty sure I registered it in the ’90s, maybe 2000, the latest. Since then, it’s had all sorts of things on it, from art and blogs to videos made in Flash and Shockwave. I even hand-coded a guestbook, so people could leave comments. I got very few, but more than you’d think.

After all of this time, I’m still playing with the dials. I’m constantly fiddling with it and to figure out how to best serve both myself and the internet. At the moment, I’m also procrastinating on completing the submission materials for my book. I could go on and on about all of the reasons that it’s so hard to move forward, but I think most people know why it’s hard.

If you’ve ever made yourself vulnerable and then feared the response or if you’ve ever refused to be vulnerable because you know you couldn’t tolerate the response, then you know what I’m talking about. If you have no idea what I’m talking about because you make yourself vulnerable all of the time and don’t mind any of the criticism or backlash, then if stick around, and you might learn something about how the other half lives. That is assuming I can even handle blogging about it regularly. Oh, and rather than blogging about perfectionism, I am switching to validation. It’s all the same thing, but in my case, I think it fits better. There’s still no concrete plan on that, but I don’t really need one. Validation is in the subtext of everything I write, anyway.

I started working on it last week because I thought I’d gotten myself to a point where I could accept the outcome, whatever it is. You might think that my biggest fear is to be rejected. Actually, I’m equally afraid of acceptance. Acceptance means that I have to face a whole bunch of things that I’ve never faced before, like working with an editor (can they force me to change things I don’t want to change?), and then, assuming it gets published, there is the feeling of being stark naked in front of the whole world, and then marketing (asking people to look at me naked), and then, of course, the responses. Many readers/critics believe that if your memoir is public domain, then everything about you is public domain.

All of this angst is from the prospect of submitting to one place. The other day, I read an article about a woman who worked on her book for two decades before she found a publisher. So, I should probably relax and stop gnawing at my own fist, but my nervous system just doesn’t work that way.

If I don’t try to publish… well, I don’t want to get into that now. Maybe next entry.

Anyway, my husband and I went for a hike yesterday. The weather was perfect for hiking, but the mountain was crowded because some kind of autumn festival was going on. I think it was for leaf viewing, but the leaves haven’t really changed, yet. It reminded me that I need to make hiking more of a priority, though. It clears my mind and helps me with perspective.

I also have been reading the Harry Potter series for the first time. I am now halfway through book 5. My husband and I are also watching the Harry Potter movies. We’ve been averaging about one movie per week, and we watched the fourth one last night. I’m trying to stay ahead of the movies as I read the books, but not delay our movie-watching schedule. I shouldn’t have any problem because he’s going on a rock-climbing trip next weekend, so, no movie and the whole weekend to read.

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