To continue from last week, because I know you’ve been hanging to see if I actually did finish the job and how’d I do it so bloody quick?
I’ll cut this story short and tell you that I didn’t finish the book in two weeks. No, no, no, not even two months! It took six months of writing and I had 50 thousands words that sort of resembled a book. Yes, I am now aware that six months to write a book is actually bloody good effort, but it was still 23 weeks over budget. Not only that but I under performed to the tune of 72,000 words. Ok, so writing a book was a little trickier than I though.
Throughout this process I started to, not only take a liking to this whole writingthing, but also I actually fell in love with it. WTF was happening to me? This kid that almost-flunked/actually-did-flunked his English grades, was now in love with writing? It didn’t make sense and didn’t seem right, but there was something about the way I could manipulate a sentence in order to sound the exact way it did in my head, that kind of turned me on in a way. I could feel it coming. I was finally going to get out, what had been trapped inside of me for eight years and I was excited.
Once I had done the yards I needed some help from someone that knew what they were doing, and who didn’tknow me, as Miranda did. I needed someone that wouldn’t have a bias opinion and that could edit my book.
Where on earth was I going to find such a person? Maybe my English teach would help me? Then I remembered that she wasn’t really a fan of my writing to begin with!
I ended up getting given a contact of a professional editor through a connection I had from Sydney, so I gave her a call. Straight away, we hit it off and she asked me for everything I had written.
The next conversation we had was in a matter of days. She came back to me and said, “Scott, you are such a good writer”… Ah ya what mate? “I love your writing. The first half of the book is so nice to read”… Ah ya what mate? “The first half is great but I’m afraid the second half of the book is not so nice and needs some work.”
My instant thought: “She didn’t like my book?” This was a stab in the guts because I had spent the last six-months slaving over a keyboard, and she was basically calling my book crap? With an injured brain and not much confidence in myself, I tend to only hear what I want to hear. To me, it sounded like she didn’t like my book. Maybe she spoke to my English teacher?
No, she liked half of it, Scott.
The reason that she only liked half was because the first half of the book was allabout my story, which she loved, and the second half was a whole bunch of unauthentic research that I had manufactured in order to fill in the pages. I wasn’t a scientist and I wasn’t a good enough writer to say anything but my story.
I had done that in order to stretch out the book and possibly make another book. The story could have kept going but I wanted to leave the reader hanging for more so they would insist on buying book number two.
What was I thinking? Leave the reader hanging for more? What a load of crap. The reader was not going to ‘hang’ to read my second book if they didn’t like my first book, and she explained to me that I need to give it my all. Leave no stone unturned. Hit a home run. Cover all bases. Go to town and back. Stop at every station… ok, that’s enough, you get it. She wanted to hear more of my story. The truth was that I would probably only ever write one book and she wanted it to be the best it could be.
She sent me back to my room to write out another half of a book. Not ready to comprehend why she was saying such a thing, I felt very disheartened at the massive wall that was in front of me. I had climbed over the first peak after base camp and I could now see the summit in the distance. This was daunting.
This was when I asked her if she could write it for me if I was to give her all of my notes and she too said, “Scott, no I will not tell your story”, “You are a very good writer and you can write this yourself.” I was essentially asking her to carry me to the summit like I did with Miranda!
This was heart breaking but I needed to believe again, so I took her word for it and got to work. Another 5-6 months of writing and I was finished. I had finally finished my first ever book. I thought that it would be a matter of weeks and boom, my book would be out and on the shelves. Well this was another little misconception by my injured brain.
I finished writing on the 24thof December 2016 and then a few weeks came and went and it wasn’t even back from our first publisher.
In fact much of 2017 was spent cutting it up and putting it back together, spinning it around, throwing it back and forth and ripping it a new one(I never got a publisher deal either BTW). We were crafting it, if you will. This was not what I imagined the path this book would take at all.
It took over a year to edit the book and finally launch it. I was so happy when the hospital, where I spent three years of my life, Epworth, asked me if I would launch my book there. Along with the amazing publicity of the book, everything fell into place. As much as I’d like to think it ‘fell’into place but nothing would have happened if I didn’t to push it in the right direction.
I worked bloody hard to get this book out and I’m so, so proud of what I have done. There is a lot more to writing a book than my injured brain had ever had anticipated.
A book is like a sculpture, you start off with a block of wood, stone or what ever you want to sculpt and you take pieces away from it. You carveit into a masterpiece. This is how a book is made.
I am so grateful that I was pushedby both Miranda and my editor, Bernadette to write it myself because this is something that I can now look at, smile, and know that I did that. I can finally stand on the summit and look back at how far I’ve come in not only writing this book, but also my recovery that got me here.
It is kind of exhilarating to have everything that has been locked up inside of me for so many years, out in the public eye. Now I present to you, Crashing Into Potential: Living with my injured brain.
That’s all folks.
As they say in French, au revoir mate!
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