With The New Year Comes…

Sooooooo 2012–I have a feeling it’s going to be a good year. I can’t explain it–it’s just a feeling I have. Like one of those gut feelings you have when you just know that something good or great is about to happen. It’s like that. Which is pretty ironic, considering that 2012 (according to the Mayans all those centuries ago) is predicted to be the last year leading up to this so-called “End of the World” idea/theory. To that–I can only shrug and say c’est la vie. It’s like the same as my thoughts towards the existence of a heaven or hell, or even God, for that matter. Since there’s no tangible proof one way or another, all we can really do is just wait and see what happens. In the meantime–all we can do is live. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to live and have fun, and do what makes me happy. I’m going to love with all I have and be grateful for what I’ve been given. More importantly, I’m going to cherish the moments and the time that I have left. Why? Because you just don’t know. No one does. Maybe the world will end, maybe it won’t. You never know. You can die tomorrow; or weeks or months or–if you’re lucky–years from now. In either case, there is one fact that remains the same. Which is that life is short. I see proof of that every single day. I’ve experienced it first-hand, on more occasions that I can even count. I’ve seen it in the memories of loved ones lost. I’ve seen it in the eyes of a beautiful and courageous 5-year-old little girl with stage 4 cancer–a little girl who was given only a few months to live who is now–more than a year later–alive and healthy and in remission. I’ve seen it in the stories and tributes to the thousands of other children that weren’t as fortunate and died too young. I’ve seen it standing at Ground Zero and in the tragic images recalled from that day. Life is short, and it’s not always fair. You can do everything right and still lose everything that matters most. You can love someone–heart, body, and soul–and still end up with a broken heart as you watch them turn and walk away–with no words left to say. You can have it all and still have nothing. You can hold on tight or and still have to let it go. You can be happy and still feel so dead inside. Even when you think you know everything–you don’t know.

Anyhow, with a new year–comes a fresh start. A clean slate. A chance to make things right–to make them even better. That said, I’ve started writing a new book. So far, I’m really happy with it. It’s a work-in-progress. As for my other book–it’s been finished for quite a while now. I’ve been putting off having it published for months–for several reasons. For starters, it’s a big step, you know? I mean, as a writer–you spend hours, months–working on something that–in a lot of ways–is essentially an extension of yourself and who and what you are. And once it’s over–when you see your story written there in black and white–there’s still more to be done. There’s the editing process and perfecting every little detail. To be honest, that’s the easy part. It’s what comes next that is the hardest part. I’m not talking about finding a publisher or signing releases and contracts–all of that will eventually come together in due time. Granted, all that stuff is important in its’ own right–but it’s not what is THE most important.

The hardest part, at least for me, is the reflection process. By that, I mean both personal and impersonal reflection–self-reflection and public reflection. Public reflection is crucial. You have to truly believe that not only did you say all it was that you wanted to say, but also that you said what people want and are going to want to hear/read. Basically, you have to believe in your work. Because if you don’t–your book is never going to survive out there in the world of words and literature. It just won’t.

That’s only the half of it though. The other half also–if not more so–crucial, is when it comes down to the very bottom line of it all. In the end, it all comes down to two questions: (1) Are you ready? And (2) Is this really what you want? To be a little more specific in regards to those two questions…You have to ask yourself if you’re ready to have your story published. If you’re ready to put yourself out there and risk failure or rejection. Moreover, you have to ask yourself if you are truly ready to bare your soul and put it all out there for the whole world to read and see?

For me, therein lies the dilemma. I just don’t know if I’m ready to do that. For me, it isn’t so much the fear of rejection or of failing that’s holding me back. I mean, if that happens then it happens. After all, if it’s meant to be then it will. The thing that is most terrifying to me is the whole “baring my soul” part. Which is exactly what I’d be doing if I choose to publish this manuscript. While the content is fiction–at the same time, it isn’t. Which probably doesn’t make much sense, but to me it does. In a nutshell, the book is me. My life. All the ups and downs and what-ifs and should’ves. It’s everything. It’s not that I’m worried about thousands of complete strangers knowing things about me. It’s the ones that I know and who know me that have me dragging my feet. Some people probably won’t catch on or even connect the dots at all. But those closest to me will. I know they will. After all, they know me best. That is, at least they think they do. That’s the problem. They know more than most–but they don’t know everything. There are things I’ve done, secrets I’ve kept–even from my family and closest friends. Things that I’m not proud of and would go back and change, if I could. There are truths that are going to disappoint and shock certain people–maybe even hurt them.

To be honest, I didn’t plan on writing a book when I initially started out. It wasn’t planned. It just sort of happened, you know? I just sat down and starting writing and somehow ended up with an entire book written by the time I finished. It was just supposed to be an outlet for what I was feeling and what I’d gone and was going through at the time. It was a healing process, for the most part. A way to clear my head and to face my past–to finally let it all out. And it felt good–getting rid of all the pain and the heavy burden I’d been carrying inside for so long. I truly never intended for my words to be read by anyone. But planned or not–I ended up with a book. And now I find myself struggling with this complicated decision of whether to publish or not–to share my prized and personal creation with the rest of the world. I want to publish it, I do. Especially after all the hard work I put into it. And because being a writer is something I truly enjoy and want to do–and I have to start somewhere. Whether it’s that book or the one I’m writing now or a completely new one–I have to publish eventually. I might as well get it over with, right? I don’t know. I’m still deciding. Who knows what I’ll choose. Yet again, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Well, that’s all I have for right now, so I’m going to call it a wrap. Goodnight!

xoxo MESSIE

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