Lessons Learned from Month One

It would be a lie if I said that the book is on schedule. I want to be finished by March, but I’d also accept April or May, so perhaps I’m not doing as badly as it feels right now. This first month of full time “booking” has not been without its challenges or distractions, and I definitely take full responsibility for not having completed what I set out to this month.

However, the month hasn’t been a total loss. Sure, I’ve spent a lot of distracted with the new boy, chatting throughout the day when I should be focused on the task at hand (something I feel 100% worth it, considering how much I adore him), but I’ve been putting in my fair share of work as well and have realized a lot of things that should make the next month much easier.

I have a stern finger for Past Me.

Not that Past Me knew any better, but she really has done quite a good job at writing a big chunk of this book in language that now just makes me mad. Spending my days editing the advice that I thought made sense a few years ago is driving me mental, but at least I’m getting better at identifying the moments where I needed a couple more years on the learning curve before I settled into the place I am today. Obviously, I’m still growing and learning, but I’ve had enough experiences and revelations now to fully trust the advice I’m giving because it’s based on many years of knowledge and not just idealistic imaginings. It means that I have to rewrite a bunch of Past Me’s revelations which is necessary but certainly annoying.

I think I used to be a straight girl.

If not, then it really appears like I am in the book. I started writing the book before I realized I was queer and my journey to embrace what queer means to me was a couple of years long. As a result, there’s a lot of language in the book that is very hetero focused and, while that is the background that I come from, it’s not the only perspective I want to put out there.

It’s a bit too couple centric.

This one is one that I wrestle with a bit. The old adage of “write what you know” is so very helpful when I’m writing, but at the same time I don’t want to just be another poly book about couples. While I’m not apologizing for the fact that that’s what I know best – though some people would like to suggest that I should – I have become more conscious of the fact that the book doesn’t contain enough information for single non-monogamous people or those in triad / group situations. So I find myself editing and re-editing and re-writing to make sure that the book isn’t *completely* biased in one direction.

I don’t didn’t think I have anything new to say.

There was a good period in the middle of January where I really struggled with this. I looked at all the other books I have on the subject and found myself wondering what my point was? What could I say that hadn’t already been said before? Was it even helpful for me to write something with my own perspective when other people were using big words and psychological smarts to offer their advice?

It took a while to get over this and trust myself but I’m doing much better now. It’s hard to have faith in your own work when there’s other great stuff out there. Like, why are there 8 million types of cereal out there? Do we need anything more than sugary, boring and healthy with some sugar? Am I All Bran? Am I Frosted Flakes? I have to stop comparing myself to cereal …

I’m BORED of all this stuff.

When I write a blog post it’s because my brain is suddenly full of inspiration and starts writing it in my head before I even realize what’s happening. I didn’t have any big push to write the post I did this morning, but my mind starting writing the paragraphs while I was in the shower, so I basically had to just to shut it up. When I’m editing / rewriting / writing the book, I’m not inspired. It’s not just like doing a boring spreadsheet at work that seems hard because it’s just boring, it’s actually HARD stuff.

Steph made a really good point tonight though when he compared the work I’m doing on the book to what he’s doing on the game he’s working on. While it’s not inspiring him and is definitely like hard work at this point, so close to the finished product, what I’m writing – and what he’s creating – will be so new and exciting to fresh eyes. Now that he’s made that comparison I can look at him going to work every day and feel inspired by the fact that he’s in a really similar place as I am, and though it’s not as much of an emotional minefield to make Mexican inspired video game art all day long as it is to write raw stories about my relationship wins and losses, there’s a parallel there that I can get behind.

All of these realizations have made January not a total loss. I haven’t edited 20 pages a day as I set out to do, but I really feel that I’ve made some leaps and bounds in how I see this project and I feel that the finish line is reachable now.

I promise you promise you PROMISE YOU, I will finish this damn thing and start talking about something else soon.

Thanks for reading!