Or not. I have seller’s remorse. The temptation to log onto my account and undo what’s been done is enormous: that this mirrors bulimia, the theme of the book, is one of those amusing coincidences life throws at you, but not, I suspect, ironic.
It’s not that I’m not excited. I’m thrilled there’s a book with my name on it. I’m amazed I got it done. It was more work than I anticipated, and I’m less perfect than I thought. The editing and formatting were work. I made it, however, and under my self-imposed deadline. Unfortunately, since publishing, the “not worthy” gremlins have been busy.
My inside voice is convinced this isn’t a “real” book. It’s a compilation, so it doesn’t count. I am, therefore, not a real author.
The “not a real book” evaluation excludes other compilation and anthology books in existence, of course. Only mine is not a book-proper. The gremlins ignore that I wrote the essays I compiled.
It also doesn’t count because the compilation wasn’t my idea. I have an incomplete novel and an autobiography-in-process that I can claim if I ever finish (my inside voice thinks this unlikely). This one, however, shouldn’t be credited to me. [ii]
Finally, it doesn’t count because it’s self-published. If this were an actual book, agents and publishing houses would be outside my house with their stereos blasting “In Your Eyes” while their henchmen ferried contracts of gold to my porch in a desperate and to-the-death competition for my manuscript. [iii]
I did consider sending queries to agents and the like, but rejection wasn’t something I wanted to risk. Plus, the query process is stressfully complex: learning to levitate would be easier. Self-publishing comes with checklists, and I like organization. I like ticking things off when I’m done.
The end result is “From Famine to Feast: my thoughts about my eating disorder,” a collection of twelve essays from my eponymous blog. I included the most popular pieces: I assumed they resonated the most with readers. There’s an introduction, some back matter, and an adorable picture of me as a child as well.
My “not a book” is currently available on Kindle and as a paperback: it will be available on other eBook platforms after June 2021. [iv]
[i] “Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.” From Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley (poem, 1818). It’s a favourite poem. I wrote an atrocious essay about it in grade twelve.
[ii] It was my psychiatrist’s idea. As I mention in the book (shameless plug), it felt like a find-value-in-living project.
[iii] I have a robust fantasy life. I’ve never watched “Say Anything.” (film, 1989) I feel like a generational-traitor.
[iv] If you’d like a copy to review, send me a message and I can email you a copy. As soon as I hear back from Amazon on how to do that: I’m having issues.