I’m immortal, in an ‘I published a book’ kind of way.

I published a book. I’m immortal, like Ozymandias. [i] I’ll exist after the last tree has fallen and the last river has turned to dust.

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.

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[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

By Em

I like writing. Words help me unpack my thoughts so things can start to make sense. Once I have both myself and the universe figured out, I plan to take up macrame. "Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing, and learn as you go." E. L. Doctorow

38 comments

    1. I read the intro to “Honor.” I loved it and plan to pick it up: at first I thought it was just your experience: it felt like mine.

      Just click one of the links 😊

      Like

  1. Okay, this was really interesting to read and now I am really curious to read the book. I loved this intro as well “I’m immortal now, like Ozymandias. [i] I’ll exist long after the last tree has fallen and the last river has turned to dust.”. Ps. Congrats on the book!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Em, You are a genius and I applaud you. You have published something whether its self publishing or not. it is a great achievement and a stepping stone to the next works you will publish. Take courage and make time to finish your novel and autobiography. I too have things that I doubt I will finish and will be able to publish but I will follow your footsteps and self-publish it as I am not too good with rejection. Congrats my friend and thank you for the encouragement. Xx. Dew

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Omg congrats on publishing your book! I read ur post when you said your therapist suggested you compile the most viewed posts and gather them into a book, so I borrowed the idea and did that too with my posts. I had already published 8 minibooks on Amazon but they weren’t selling so I needed a fresh idea for a book, since my novel idea is stuck. So thank you to you and your therapist for the idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you and you’re welcome. I love the idea of little books – Thich Nhat Hanh did the same thing with some of his meditation writing. You’re in good company 😁

      Promotion, though, that’s the worst.

      Like

  4. You published a book, You are an author! and it is a book.
    Congratulations!
    Self-publishing is a crazy yet rewarding rollercoaster ride.
    can’t wait for June, since paperbacks aren’t available for UAE. 🙂
    Congrats again. ❤️

    Like

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