About two years ago I finally started writing the book I’ve had on my mind for a few years. Last year, I finished what we called the sloppy copy in my K/1 classroom. After finishing, I found three people I consider mentors and experts, and whom I also knew would be very honest with me in their feedback.
Then, I sat on it. And sat on it. And sat on it some more.
Part of why I sat on it is I didn’t know how to go to the next step. They don’t teach you the steps to writing and publishing a book. The farthest we get in school is getting to the final product, with usually one person reading what has been written, the teacher.
In asking three people to look it over and offer comments, I couldn’t wrap my head around how to move forward. Whose comments take precedence? What if the comments conflict? How do I track the changes in case I need to bring words back?
I also had to work through my own feelings of inadequacies. Even after all of these years of being in education, I still feel who am I to write a book for fellow educators? What do I have to say that hasn’t been said already? Why should anyone believe me?
All of this also stems from growing up poor. When you grow up with no money, people and society do not look kindly upon you. They, and it, work hard to make you feel less than. Sadly, even some teachers, in how they teach, or the expectations they have of students living in poverty, is different. They, the teachers, and the people who have money, speak to you differently when they know you have less. They treat you as less than, so over time, you begin to believe you are less than.
50 some years later, I still wrestle with those thoughts on a daily basis.
About three weeks ago, I made a commitment to one of my longest and closest of friends. During our breakfast, we had a conversation about my feelings of inadequacy. She basically told me to get over it. Before leaving that day, my commitment to her was I would start working on the book again.
Today, I did just that. The writing group that helped me stay focused has started meeting again. This morning I showed up, and I showed up. I began the editing process and figured out my organization to move forward.
I’m not sure how long it will take me to get through the edits as the reviewers were tough, asked great questions, and found the places I agree are weak. Now it is up to me to make it work, knowing I have their, and many others’ support.
I can do it. My demons, these demons at least, have been put down for the count. Onward and upward!