I’m Knee Deep in my next book of the FROG series. Today, I take a breath to share a section from the book that started my published author career. To honor my 500 word or less FROG Blog limit, this chapter cuts off at 500 words.
From Life’s Too Short for Dull Razors, Cheap Pens and Worn-Out Underwear (available on Amazon and Kindle).
When I originally started writing this book, my purpose was to create a collection of transparent thoughts harvested from seeds of three decades of running. I wanted to portray that a sense of humor and optimism is key to running perseverance.
The written potpourri was intended to be lighthearted and comical, sometimes filled with random silliness. A few trusted people read my first drafts and graciously guided me away from my undertone of jaded flippancy. These mercifully honest people told me the book read more demeaning and preachy. They expected my natural default to sprinkle upbeat wit into everyday situations to show up on the pages. Instead, they were met with disappointment that I wrote something that was dramatically different than who I really am when they’re around. Ouch. My heart took a sucker punch because a lot of these people have known me for much of my life.
My knee-jerk reaction instantly licked my wounds. If I was going to write a book, I wanted it to have power, to stand out with a message deeper than something they’d read on the back of a furniture polish bottle. My mission in writing a book wasn’t to portray myself as a cynical broom rider with frequent flier miles on her sweeper. My next line of defense, saturated in defensiveness, was some people reading my manuscript had obviously gotten stuffy over the years since we’ve known each other. Maybe they no longer “got” my random sense of humor.
I felt too exposed, too volatile, too embarrassed to fight back. Those first drafts required significant sweat equity. I thought I had thicker skin and more willing to accept constructive input. Had I intersected the fine lines between quick wit, sarcasm, and cynicism? In a wearied state, I let the book sit for over two years. Fast forwarding through a litany of internal dialogue, lengthy journal entries, and a few hundred days of living the earthly experience, I received a “wider lens” perspective. After two years of manuscript dormancy, I pulled the most recent version of my book from a stack of papers. I read comments and editor remarks through a lighter filter. I read through a filter that didn’t promote fire and brimstone pulpits. I studied through a filter that didn’t accept lack of compassion. Yikes.
Thankfully, I was gently convicted enough to admit that instead of what I originally thought was refreshing transparency was raw, unbecoming cynicism. I used a written platform to mask personal unresolved issues that bit with a “get-back-at-the-world” bitter spirit. I’m eternally grateful for those people who exposed this edgy truth with loving honesty.
In my original drafts, I covered this unexplored section of my soul, fearing that readers would think I was too “out there.” Over years of running, I have accumulated fresh insights and discovered an intensely spiritual side I had not expected or sought. So, with sincere appreciation to my writing life coach who encouraged me to dig beyond “see” level, I write this unplugged…