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Friday, June 19, 2009

Hmmmmm....

Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a writer. I have NO IDEA why, but even as early as second grade, I dreamed of authoring a book, and even more...doing my own illustrations!

That's always been one of my deepest desires, but it's one that has morphed over time. I have several "novels" I've begun, I have short stories, and on another blog, I have the first seven "chapters" of a story I wrote when I was twelve...but it's been given new life now that I'm an adult. (It's dead on the racetrack right now, though.)

I think that may be one of the dangers of blogging; instant publication. I remember dreaming of "being published" but here I am, doing it myself. Ho hum. Oh, look, I hit "publish" again and THERE IT IS!

No, it'll never be the same thing as actually being a published author. Although I have had a few minor things published here and there, I haven't pursued this very much and those sources are so obscure that no one has ever heard of them.

Pay them no mind.

Here and there I've mused about taking my blog posts, only the cream of the crop, and compiling them into a book, maybe an anthology of sorts. There are bloggers who have done this, although I've wondered why. Certainly there are bloggers who share a great deal of information, and a book would make it more readable, especially if the information is reliable and can serve as a resource.

In my case, I look at what I publish, and truly, when I look at my "market", well...it's a dime a dozen. It's worth nothing. No one knows me. I'm not a famous person and never will be (thank God!) The downside of using a pseudonym such as mine is that I can't use it in traditional publication. I'll have to either give my real name...or make up another one. And every pen name I think of is so incredibly stupid I'd be ashamed to stamp my work with it!

Just recently, though (and he's not the first) a commenter said he'd like to see these "prequel" posts compiled into a book, along with whatever happens in my upcoming trip.

He got me thinking again. (I'm assuming a "he", although the person was anon and could be a "she"!)

In any case, the comment reminded me that when I began this blog, I was in my initial phase of discernment. The one I abandoned for a couple years, and which came back with a vengeance starting last July. A lot has happened since I started this blog, and I couldn't have predicted ANY of it.

I'm one of those people who likes to research any possible path. Back when I graduated college, I researched what it would take to volunteer for a couple years, in, say, Guatemala. I was looking for a faithful Catholic organization, even though I wasn't practicing my faith at the time. I wanted to. I wanted to do good things...AND be holy. I wanted to seek God. To several friends, I commented that I wanted to read anecdotal stories from people who had done such things. Seeing that no such books existed, I wanted to venture on a mission, keep a journal, and compile my stories and those of people I knew, publish it, and then use the proceeds to start a foundation to help young adults find the financial freedom to take those months or couple years in service to the Church.

Clearly, that never happened.

That's what's so amusing...it seems this idea has come full circle!

This time the topic is discernment, and I'm not musing about entering into it...I'm THERE. And it's brutal and horrific and had I known it would be this bad I would have run away years ago and maybe I would have joined the Rodeo and became a clown.

At least with bull's horns and hooves you know clearly what to avoid, when to run away, and whether or not the big stick in your hand means anything at all!

Yet, it's also been joyful, and even amidst all the shadows, I'm grateful for this experience. I see God's hand in ways I would never have seen had I not taken the time to seriously discern the deepest questions (most of which I still haven't truly asked.)

So now I take another look at writing a book. This one is mostly written...it's all over my blog. Some posts are labeled, some are not. But...I can go back to the beginning, pull the posts on discernment and some of the more spiritual/theological ones, and compile them into book form.

I would have to do some serious editing, for these posts were written for this venue...not for a book. I would have to add connections and maybe explanations. Perhaps I'd have to take more care to define certain terms.

What would be the purpose of the book?

Well...for the last couple years, I've gotten emails and comments from people who have contacted me because of what I have written. Some are in the same "place", some have been where I was a that time (or am now!), some have been seeking, some needing encouragement. That's why I've kept writing and continue to do so now.

I realize now that maybe I'm providing what I wanted to provide so long ago, but now, for a different topic. There are a lot of books on discernment and the theological "how-to", but not a lot of stuff on experience. And yet, sometimes experience is the most valuable of all sources.

People don't come to God through dry tomes, but through personal invitation. They come to know Jesus not through the dry words of a theologian, but through the warm expression of someone who knows Him..or at least is sincerely trying to do so. That's why testimony to God's glory, both spoken and written, is so important.

We know we have to tell our stories if we want to evangelize. But why hasn't this same idea been taken up within the Church more broadly as a way to help souls find their Vocations?

I've decided to start work compiling posts I deem "worthy", at least initially. If nothing else, I figure it might be a good spiritual and academic practice to sincerely look at those old posts and try to improve them. It might also remind me how long I've been face-to-face with God.

Don't look for results any time soon. This is a big project, I don't know if I'm serious about actually publishing a compilation publicly, but I DO need a little advice from any experienced writers who may be in my midst.

First: since I'll be putting posts into Word, is it better to just start one document and continue it, or to set an approximate number of pages and have several sections? I can put them all into one Folder, but from a practical standpoint, are big files or small files the way to go?

Advice needed, even if this project never goes beyond this post and my computer.

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8 comments:

Suzanne Sadler said...

Good for you! Looking forward to reading about the ups and downs of the writing process :-)

justme said...

advice: GO FOR IT. Even if it never goes beyond your computer, it is an excersice in reviewing God's action... and that is NEVER wasted time.

Hidden One said...

As a still-amateur writer (working on his first paid contract) who uses Word whenever possible... to collect posts, one document. For the next stage, another. And so on. That's how it works for me, at least: source material in one document, perhaps an outline in another, and the main work in another. But do what works for you.

Here's some general advice:

Save version numbers - every time you do some editing and stop, save another version number. And email yourself your work every now and again.

Oh, and if you ever need a volunteer proofreader or any sort of help... send me an email (see my Blogger profile). If I can, I will help you in that way. (I am a bit qualified in that department, but I'm no pro.) If I cannot, or you do not need me, my only help shall consists of prayers - as it usually does.

pax Christi tecum.

Melody K said...

What justme said! When you think of it, most writers were unknown to begin with, and probably thought their experiences and work were "a dime a dozen". Quite a few writers have used a pen name (I'd be glad to help you think of a really lame one!). Seriously, go for it.

Owen said...

"dime a dozen" OK, I'll see that and raise you the following, your words to me on my luminousmiseries.ca blog:

"What if the early Christians had looked around and decided that because they were saying the same things others were, it just wasn’t worth preaching? Where would the world be then?

We are all called to share our faith, and we do so through different interests, venues, expressions, etc."

When you get it done, if you need illustrations, you know who to call.

Adoro said...

Suzanne ~ Thanks, but I probably won't be writing about the writing process. I hate writing about processes. I don't even like FOLLOWING processes! lol

Hidden One ~ Well, I don't really think an outline is needed in this case. I'm just going to follow chronological order. It'll read like a diary of sorts, probably. With some spiritual reflections thrown in. Dunno. But I will let you know if I need a proofreader! :-)

Owen ~ DANG IT! I HATE when I proleptically shoot myself in the foot like that!

Hidden One said...

Sounds good, Adoro. I suspect that you'll only need one document, then - but save often (and each time, a different version) and back it all up often, too.

Oh, and Owen got you on that one, big time.

Adoro said...

Shut up. I need to go find another bandage for my foot now... ;-)