Today is the first day of classes at Cal State Fullerton and Fullerton College. On the first day, I ask my students to write about this topic: What was your worst writing experience OR your greatest writing success? Usually, when I ask my students to write something in class, I do it too. So here is my response to that prompt:
Greatest Writing Success!
I just finished my first book! It only took me twelve years to finish it. Twelve years, eighty pages. One thing I have learned from all this is that writing is a process. For my book, I was constantly editing, cutting and adding, but mostly cutting, which is hard because you think…Look at all these pages! But you also have to think about your audience. Will they WANT to read it? Will it seriously hold their attention? Anyone can write a lot of pages, but it took work, time, and sharing (via my blog) to reach a product I was proud of.
People think that, with writing, you need some kind of external validation, like a publisher telling you that they want to publish your book. But I was in a punk band and our ethos was DIY…Do It Yourself. So I self-published my book…printed, hand-stitched, and bound it, with the help of my grandma and the friendly folks at Kinkos.
I am very happy and proud of my book. Of course, I don’t think it’s perfect. I could spend the rest of my life editing that one book, but at some point you have to say, “It is finished,” and move on to the next project. I am already deep into my next project, which is a history of my hometown of Fullerton.