On Writing My Book


Two weeks ago I came down with either food poisoning or the flu.

Two weeks ago I came down with either food poisoning or the flu.
I spent a night and a day clutching the toilet bowl, throwing up. Feverish and shivering, I heaved until there was nothing left. It would be over for a a little while; then the next wave of nausea would hit me and I’d stumble back to the bathroom and do a repeat performance. And another.
That’s what writing my book feels like.
Writing this book is me throwing up on a page until I am empty. Again. And again.
It’s not sexy, or organised, or charming.
It’s not at all what I’ve seen other bloggers-turned-authors do. I’m not on Instagramming my chapter outline and ticking off the boxes. I’m not tucked into a corner of a cute coffee place with my MacBook while the barista adds an extra shot of espresso to my latte.
Instead, I sit at home. I’m wrapped in scarfs and blankets, ignoring my laptop completely as write by hand, trying to keep up with the thoughts that are becoming…something that is apparently my book, on paper.
The book that is currently coming out of me? I have no idea what it’s going to be like in the end. Therefore I have no idea what is going to happen either.
My editor might end up with a book he never wanted me to write, one that we never agreed upon. My publisher might deem it entirely useless and unprofitable, to send me back to write something else. Or unbind my contract altogether, and I’ll be the first of the blogger-turned-authors that will have failed.
And if my editor an publisher are on board with whatever this book will be, it might not be the book you wanted from me.
It might not be what you hoped; useful and inspiring. It might not be what you expected from me; funny, filled with mockery of everything, most of all myself.
It might be a disappointment. I might be a disappointment.
But this is the book that is coming out of me.
I don’t know what it’s going to be like.
But I am doing my very best.
And when it’s finished, Internet friends, it’s all yours.

(Thank you for all the comments and emails and all the kind, kind words you’ve sent me. If I haven’t responded, don’t take it personal. I’m still going through a lot. I will be in touch with as many of you as I can, but it will be a little while longer before I can do that with my full attention.)  

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  1. Wat je doet klinkt eigenlijk juist onwijs puur (en puur is niet altijd mooi, lief en nog meer van dat soort zoetigheid), ik ben er zomaar vrij zeker van dat ik dat graag wil lezen.

  2. This. This is why you’re the most inspiring blogger out there. You say it like it, even if it’s ugly.
    I recently signed a book contract and the fear of failure has been a pain in the ass. I haven’t wrote a word since I signed, which is almost three weeks ago.
    No more! Time to write. “This is the book that is coming out of me.” Yes!

  3. No worries! You won’t be the first one, my contract ended after I gave my manuscript and didn’t want to change my main character into a gay man (they expected me to write from that perspective apperantly because I’m gay). So. There. You won’t have to carry that burden anymore.

    Good luck with writing.

  4. Mijn papers voelen altijd zo.
    En dan ga ik eerst bijna dood en dan op een gegeven moment ga ik ‘maar gewoon’ door. En dan blijkt er toch iets te ontstaan wat ‘het’ dan blijkbaar is.

    Maar goed, lekker doorgaan dan 🙂