After graduating from law school, I set out on a raft into the ocean… Or close enough, I set out to write a memoir.
I wanted to open people’s hearts to narcolepsy. I’d studied the challenges facing people with narcolepsy while in law school – laws, regulations, policies, procedures, politics. I felt that a personal story needed to be told. Narcolepsy was hard, but it wasn’t boring. So I waved good-bye to normalcy and started writing…
I knew there would be waves and stormy weather in these uncharted waters. I knew my statistical chances of securing a publishing deal were about as good as winning the lottery.
I clung tightly to my creative non-fiction background and my fighting spirit. I’m known to be more passionate than others deem reasonable or rational.
I slowly paddled my way into the literary world. I gave up my personal privacy about narcolepsy knowing that I could be discriminated against for the rest of my life. My father was an employment lawyer so I knew full well what I was doing.
I worked to become a community leader – giving presentations with doctors and volunteering with the two narcolepsy non-profits, Narcolepsy Network and Wake Up Narcolepsy. I read every how-to book on writing a memoir, getting a literary agent, writing a book proposal and getting a publishing deal. I built an author’s website. I ran the Boston Marathon.
I secured a literary agent in NYC last year. We polished my proposal and submitted it to the top publishers. I waited on pins and needles for a year. Thirteen publishers considered it, a few editors at publishing houses fell in love with it, but ultimately, all turned it down.
At times, the process has felt overwhelming and impossible. I must admit, my mean-lean-fighting-machine has broken down at times.
Yet, I set a goal of finishing my memoir by March 2012 and I finished!
Afterwards, my mind raced ahead to other tasks. I forgot to celebrate – I forgot to stop for just one second and ride a wave. I forgot to put my feet up, have a glass of wine and share my milestone on my blog!
“Best Life Ever” Boston Herald writer and blogger, Taylor Wells recently brought a great quote to my attention: “Until further notice, celebrate everything!”
Right on, Taylor! We must remember to celebrate everything – especially ourselves. I vow to have a glass of wine tonight and not work on my computer at the same time. 🙂
I’m still at sea, not sure where I’ll turn up. I’m speaking with one last literary agent before entering another new world of self-publishing. No matter what happens, the book will be available eventually – which will be the big celebration!
For now, much remains up in the air. A good friend reflected on my situation, “Just think, if this was a book – it wouldn’t end like this.”
How ironic and true. My memoir is complete, but my journey is not. Celebrate the moment. Ever onward!