In April of 2014 I wrote my first blog entry on my new website. After revealing that I was soul searching about where I fit it (or didn’t) in a changing music industry, and that I was tempted to write a book about it, I ended the piece with this:
"What if I wrote that book and nobody read it? But then I reconsider—isn’t that the way I felt when I wrote my first song? I wondered if anyone would hear it. I was navigating the same uncharted waters. But I kept rowing. Is fearlessness only for the young? Maybe in order to stay young, it’s imperative at any age to stand on the edge of a cliff and dare yourself to jump."
It was very scary.
I honestly had no idea how to go about writing a book. How does one find and editor, an agent, a publisher? I made many mistakes and felt foolish on more than one occasion, submitting an unpolished manuscript long before it was in any condition to be read.
Still, I received responses from agents who suggested I…..
1-increase my Twitter following
2-ask a celebrity to write a foreword
3-include more dirt—(had Britney shared anything with me that only I was privy to? Did Christina have an eating disorder?) No and No.
Sometimes it felt like it didn’t matter what I had to say. If my stories were salacious and could be driven by social media, I was good to go. But it simply wasn’t that kind of book and I wasn’t about to make stuff up.
And even if I did have dirt, the personal stories and feelings we share at writing or recording sessions should never leave the room. What would it say if I told all ten years later. Not cool.
So I started going down the road to self publishing. The learning curve was daunting.
I discovered new words such as query, book proposal, audience, pagination, leading, widows and orphans, ellipsis, subscript, page break, umlauts, (umlauts?), n-dash m-dash, lorum epsum, double truck. Google revealed the special functions of command, options and control keys on my laptop—secret little shortcuts I had no idea existed. It was a brave new world.
And then a funny thing happened when I surrendered to the Universe. All those people—(the editor, agent and publisher) whom I couldn’t seem to find in the beginning, found me. “There’s beauty in the break down so Let Go” —thank you Imogen Heap.
My book-in-the-making became all encompassing. The wheels were spinning from the time I woke up in the morning until I went to sleep at night. I showered with it, drove with it, ran with it, slept with it. It was always in my head. Is there a more logical chapter order? Is there a more precise word? What am I leaving out? Am I being honest? Am I not being honest enough? Trust me, if you’re ever inclined to take a leap toward a literary endeavor I wish you a fast computer with the latest operating system and a healthy hard drive, note taking Apps on all gadgets in all rooms (and cars and gym lockers), patient families, a partner who knows you well enough to remind you when you’re misremembering, and friends who don’t doubt you. You’re going to need them.
For anyone standing at a crossroads, not knowing how to move forward, I say, put one foot front of the other and proceed without caution. Sometimes, when you’re down and troubled, the only way to find the answers is to write your way to them.
Today is the official drop of Confessions of a Serial Songwriter. I feel like I’ve been pregnant with this baby for three years. It’s been humbling, fascinating, frustrating, cathartic, exhausting and stressful but as long as I was tapping at the keyboard, the only emotion I felt was euphoria. So I guess I was doing something I needed to do—Jump.
There’s beauty in the break down so—Let Go.