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 start to make sense. I suppose that once I figure out life, the universe, and everything (my thanks to Douglas Adams), I'll have nothing left to say. "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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