Did you know that this blog began four years ago?! It was called A Girl and Her Thoughts. I had no idea what I was doing! I posted here sporadically until I got the crazy notion to write a book about my life. I’d started several as a child (who hasn’t?!), but never finished one of them. I knew I wouldn’t complete anything unless I wrote it publicly on this blog .
I posted two chapters every week and finished the first draft of A Pygmy’s Life for Me in under a year. I eventually changed the title of my blog to Down Cottonwood Lane, because Cottonwood Lane was a part of my childhood home, woven throughout the book, and an eventual symbol of my growing up. And since I’m still growing up, it’s only fitting that I keep this the title of my blog.
Four years have come and gone, and here I am...still blogging and still working on this book. But a lot has happened in the 4 years since I wrote that first draft.
I sent it to a publisher.
And I was rejected.
But she gave me fantastic input so after a short time of feeling a little bruised, I got right back to the writing desk to take her advice and improve my story. The story began as a collection of my childhood memories for no real purpose, but to share my life and show it to my future children. But that wasn’t good enough.
I sat down at the computer to give it better purpose and I wove within it a deeper story that needed to be told. It was no longer just about memories, it was bout discovery.
The kind of discovery every Christian kid needs to experience.
I sent the book to another publisher.
And I was accepted!
But the more I looked into this company and spoke with them, the more I was uncertain with handing over my work to them. Saying no was hard, but definitely right. A handful of months went by and I admittedly got a little lazy. I eventually sent my book to an editor (now friend!) who kindly read through and marked my book in oceans of red (literally oceans, people!). I was actually thrilled to see all the red. It meant progress and progress is all I can ask of myself!
I finished working my way through her edits!
That’s something worth celebrating! Now, I am in the last stages of reading through my book and adding depth and fluidity to places that need it. I’ve often wondered if anyone is going to want to read this book at all, but now that I see it in all its 4th draft glory (sense the sarcasm?!), I can finally understand how someone would want to read this! A Pygmy’s Life for Me is a strong story, and it answers some very perplexing questions. It is a mixture of childhood, adolescence, the confusion of growing up, and the darker parts of my young self.
If you read the 17 year old version of A Pygmy’s Life for Me, then you will be shocked and pleased with all that has changed! I am finally unafraid to write my heart for you. I admit that some parts are cringeworthy. They are hard to keep in the book, but I cannot cut them out, because this is my life!
I’m staying diligent and making lots of progress. My nieces are my loudest cheering squad and I’m thankful for their exuberance!
I am almost finished with the 4th draft!
And my editor friend wants to be involved as I continue this process. I couldn’t be more pleased with that, because trying to publish a book is overwhelming. I have lots of questions and hardly any experience. It’s really fun to have someone who is much more trusty than the wisdom(?) I can glean from the internet. HA!
I hope to have some giant leaps in the published direction by the end of summer. Is that wishful thinking? MAYBE! But I’m going for it and that’s all there is to it! I wanted to catch you up to speed, because things like a 4th draft of a book is exciting stuff and I’m celebrating the progress I’ve made!
So, what’s the point of all this?
small steps make for big progress.
Nothing big happens in one giant leap. Big things happen in lots of little, itzy bitzy steps! Keep taking the small steps. They pay off. It may feel slow and discouraging and pointless at times (it definitely will), but continuing on is the best thing you and I can do. And we should also celebrate things like a 4th draft to keep the long process exciting! Honestly, who knows how long it’s going to take, but we are getting closer to a fully published first book!
So, thanks for keeping me company along the way. You being a part of this community is so special to me! And I’m not just saying that…. I truly love that you are a part of Cottonwood Lane.
Make sure I don’t give up, guys.
almost there, folks!