Choices. Choices. Choices. Boy, sometimes I wish life was a little less complicated. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could walk down the cereal aisle at your local grocery store and rather having to choose, a cute salesman would walk over, tell you which one tastes the best, and then give you a guarantee that that particular box of cereal will give you shapelier thighs and a toner tummy? You could throw those fruity loops into your cart and move on to the next crises.
Life of course, doesn’t work that way.
Last week a potential publisher who likes my writing, said they could not accept Could Have Been Holly Wood as is, because there is not enough up-front focus on my anxiety disorder. After throwing myself a short pity party, I decided I had a few options to explore.
A. Cut the first 50 pages and start where I had my first panic attack when I was thirteen
B. Keep the manuscript as is, tailor my pitch for a more general memoir, and send it out to other publishers and agents.
C. Come up with a compromise.
After a whole lot of stressing out and thinking everything over, I have started to play around with my manuscript to see if I can move forward with Option C – the compromise. I don’t know yet if it will work or not, but I am trying to restructure the manuscript in a way that will give my anxiety disorder the spotlight from the get-go, but still maintain my overarching theme.
Most folks who suffer from an anxiety disorder judge themselves pretty harshly. In my case, I felt so different from my peers that I became convinced I needed to excel in order to simply feel acceptable. I thought that getting straight A’s in school and securing a high-profile, glamorous career as a television reporter would make me more worthy as a human being. So the theme of my book is what my life’s unusual and often comical experiences, have taught me. It’s our life’s journey, the variety of our experiences, the richness of our relationships, the characters we meet and our inner fulfillment, that makes our lives meaningful. That’s the story I ultimately want to tell.