Or not. I have seller’s remorse. The temptation to undo what’s been done is enormous: that this mirrors bulimia, the theme of the book, is one of those strange coincidences life throws at you. A reminder that what’s done can’t be undone.
It’s not that I’m not excited. I’m thrilled there’s a book with my name on it. I’m also amazed I got it done. Editing and formatting were more work than I anticipated. But I made it, and under my self-imposed deadline, mostly by letting go of my need for perfect. Unfortunately, since publishing, the “not worthy” gremlins have been busy.
My inside voice is convinced it isn’t a “real” book. It’s a compilation and doesn’t count. I’m not a “real” author.
The “not a real book” evaluation excludes the other compilation and anthology books in existence, of course. Only mine is defined as not a book-proper. The gremlins ignore that I wrote the essays contained therein.
It also doesn’t count because it wasn’t my idea. I have an unfinished novel and autobiography I can claim once they’re done (my inside voice thinks that unlikely): those ideas were mine. This one, however, should be credited elsewhere. [ii]
Finally, I self-published. If my book was “real,” agents and publishing houses would be blasting “In Your Eyes” from my driveway while their henchmen delivered million dollar contracts in a desperate, to-the-death competition for my work. [iii]
I considered sending queries out to agents and the like, but rejection wasn’t something I wanted to risk. The query process is also stressfully complex: learning to levitate would be easier. Self-publishing was a comparative breeze. And God knows I love step-by-step checklists.
And so we have available “From Famine to Feast: my thoughts about my eating disorder,” a collection of the twelve most popular essays from the blog. I added an introduction, some back matter, and a rather adorable picture of me as a child to make it feel fresh. I also got to edit my previous works and criticize with enthusiasm.
The “not a book” is available both on Kindle and as a paperback: it will be available on other eBook platforms at a later date.
If you read it, I’d greatly appreciate an Amazon review.
[i] “Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.” From Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley (poem, 1818). It’s a favourite piece of mine. I wrote an atrocious essay about it in grade twelve.
[ii] It was my psychiatrist’s idea. It felt like a find-value-in-living project. I can get depressed and dramatic sometimes, and not in a good, Auntie Mame way. I think this was a way to channel the negative energy.
[iii] I have a robust fantasy life. I’ve never watched “Say Anything.” (film, 1989) I feel like a generational-traitor. I am, however, familiar with the boom-box-in-,the-driveway scene