Thursday, July 06, 2006

Eighty-Five Thousand Words Later

The past four days have proven extremely productive. In fact, after spending forty-one hours (11.5 today alone) of restless editing, rewriting, refashioning, deleting and moving stuff around, the manuscript is now completed. I have reread the whole thing twice, and will do so again from a printout—next week. It stands at 85,000 words, or about 250 pages. This represents a journey of eleven months—or forty, if one includes the entire experience that I write about in my book.

The whole endeavor represents a personal journey, and in the past few days I have gone through a series of emotions ranging from the pain of wounds that I thought had healed but that I now realize haven’t completely, to anger, rage, and a sense of alarm that something dreadful is being done to our country without us knowing it. All in all, the experience of writing this book has been cathartic, is undeniably part of my healing process, and now that it is complete I have a better understanding of what it has all meant for me. There is nothing like the act of writing to consolidate and clarify one’s thoughts. As long as they remain in the head, ideas and opinions are shapeless, elusive. Writing, rereading and editing them is part of a long discussion that the author has with himself. I have learned a lot about myself by writing this book, and that alone makes the hundreds of hours that I have spent researching and writing it altogether worthwhile.

So, one more reading and that stage of the journey will have been completed. The next one will be to find a publisher daring enough to make this work public. There’s still ways to go, some hoops to jump through, but the objective is now definitely within sight somewhere over the horizon.

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