At least once a week, someone emails me and tells me I should publish this blog into a book.
Today at Crossfit, the question of the day was “If you could do any job and money was no object, what would it be?” It’s an excellent question. And when push comes to shove, for me it’s either writer or public intellectual. I suppose I should grit my teeth and bear it through job market then, because “academic” is part writer and part public intellectual. So now that we know I’m in the right profession, let’s deal with the writer dream.
It was always easy to write. As a kid, I easily aced writing tests and exams, though I nearly failed math. Spelling wasn’t a strong suit, but could be overlooked if I wooed them enough with the handwriting, the story, the way I could put sentences together. Besides, who needs spelling when there’s spellcheck? Though those of you who read this blog will know how often I write there and mean their, its and mean it’s, and whether when I mean weather. The first time I ever got really critical feedback about my writing was when I got into the Ph.D. program. My supervisor didn’t let me get away with anything. And suddenly I was surrounded by all of the good writers, all of the students who had always been at the top, all still trying to be at the top. How weird.
So back to publishing a book from the blog. I need help. Is it a memoir? A novel? Is it in the first person, like my blog, or told by a narrator, like this:
She knows two people who have breast cancer. That number has doubled since yesterday. And the new cancer buddy is the same age as her, with the same thing as her, a month of two ahead of her in treatment. It’s pretty awesome to have a cancer buddy. Chels didn’t even know how much she craved one until someone said:
“Wow, that’s the second time I’ve heard that in six weeks.”
Chelsey thought her old friend Katherine was talking about someone older, someone at risk for breast cancer. But Katherine was talking about her college buddy. She was talking about someone who, as she put it, “was cut from the same cloth as you, Chels.” Cut from the same cloth, born the same year and ripped to shreds by the same menacing cancer. Katie and Chelsey connected immediately. Chels took comfort in the knowledge that “There’s more of me! There’s her, and that makes us.” Never had she ever thought she’d be so excited to have a cancer buddy. But hey, she does and she is. She’s got Katie. They can cancer-world-make together. Cancer-buddies are critical.
Or, does it stay like this?
It was hot as we tried to fall asleep in the second floor bedroom. I’d rented a Tahoe cabin for Megan’s bachelorette. As I stared up at the oak beams in the ceiling and tried to get comfortable in the scratchy twin bed, my hand found my breast. Squishy, normal, just making sure I was all there as I fell asleep. And then I felt a lump. A hard little knot near my taut nipple. I could hear Megan stirring. She couldn’t sleep either, but I couldn’t share this discovery. First of all, it was her bachelorette. And second of all, what was I supposed to say? That I was feeling myself up while we were sharing a bedroom? I mean how do you explain that?
How do I decide? What do you think?
Also, how do I get an agent? Do I really need a complete draft before I send it off? Google would suggest yes, in fact, I do. Who knows about this?
All you people, you many, many people who are always emailing me telling me to make it into a book, help me figure out how. The first question is about the stance of the narrator- me or her- and about the novel or memoir approach. And the second, bigger question is about how to go about this, how to find an agent, who to contact, and when to contact them. So do please answer. Email me. Or comment. But let me know what your thoughts are. Or is this a silly pipe dream, one I should flush down the toilet, like I should flush away the chemo meds I didn’t use (but I hear they’re great for hangovers! What if I need them someday?)?
Do tell, you people. Do tell. Email me. Or comment here. But do tell.