As I've mentioned before, I've been busting my hump pretty hard to get this book re-written. A chapter a day is the goal. Sometimes I hit it, sometimes I don't. But this book deserves to be finished. I have two weeks worth of work left, approximately. Once that's done?
I'm putting this book away. I won't be trying to get it published and I won't be seeking an agent.
Sounds silly, doesn't it? Why bother finishing it when I'm not planning on doing anything with it? (And oh, my god, what a colossal waste of time.) I've thought all that through the course of today, believe me.
It's not silly. I made myself a promise and I'm going to keep it. There's nothing silly about that. Just the fact that this will be polished and lovely and complete makes it worth finishing.
As for not doing anything with it, I made the choice for a few simple reasons...
We live in a fucked up world. Just last year or the year before a literary agent was attacked. Not because she represented a controversial author, but because she did her job and didn't take on an author she didn't want to represent. She didn't do anything controversial.
This book is controversial. I love it with all my heart and I totally believe in the ideas I set forth in it. But let's face it, folks, I'm too old to get embroiled in the shitstorm that will come after a book like this. I like my life. It's laid back. There's no drama. I love my husband, too, and he's finally at a point in his life where he doesn't have shitstorms and drama swirling around him. I don't wanna put that back on him for anything.
Even for the chance of this book becoming the next Fahrenheit 451.
Plus, my mom doesn't need to hide the fact that I'm her daughter. My kid won't have to pretend I'm not her mom. My friends can keep associating with me and I can keep associating with them without worrying whether the crazies are going to visit their homes, blogs, websites, booksignings... You get the point.
And yeah, I'm afraid. Who wouldn't be? Hell, J.K. Rowling weathered a storm because she wrote about a little boy at a school for wizards and witches. This isn't even cute or sweet or magical. These characters of mine are adults doing adult things that will piss people off.
I could, of course, go all 'under the radar' and publish under a pseudonym, but I don't want to have to hide who I am. That's part of the point of not moving ahead with publication. Either way, it'll be some kind of hiding. I am proud of this novel. I wrote it. If it ever got published, I'd sure as hell want my name on it. I'd want to get out there and do booksignings, and schmooze and point to this with a smile, saying 'yep, that's my book'. Can't do that if Alice Nobody has her name on my book (even if she's supposed to be me... or I'm her... or whatever.)
Anyway, I'll still be busting my ass for the next couple weeks. But then I'll switch to something equally awesome, but less 'oh my god, this book goes against my ideas so I have to harass the author, her family, and anyone who might agree with her'.
Sometimes we have to make the hard decisions to give up something we value in order to protect the things we value more. It's not a sacrifice. It's a choice.
If any of my friends* wish to read it, they can. They just need to let me know and I'll shoot a copy once the rewrite is done. (Just reading, no critiquing - because I'm shelving this so why waste your time.) The rest of you will have to wait for the next piece of literary brilliance - which may or may not still piss a sector of the populous off (we take that chance with every story we write, don't we?), but it won't piss off the ones who've already proven they are armed and aren't afraid to blow people up to make a point.
Ever had to make a tough choice? You don't have to talk about it if you aren't comfortable - just a yes or no will suffice.
*You know who you are.