I've taken a short break from writing the last week or so. Just to think, mainly. I've changed the format of the book now twice, and wondering if I need to change it again.
This is a hard book to write for the main reason I am a character in the story, but not the important character. I am the narrator, yes. But I feel I need to write about the changes I, as the author, went through in writing the book.
There were periods when I walked away from the story and thought I was crazy for even trying to take on this task.
Then there was a time when I suffered a major depression that lasted for months. During that time, I thought a lot about my mother and the years she was sick, both physically and spiritually, when I was a child. Had I inherited this? My doctors thought it possible.
I remembered then, for maybe the first time, that my father had also been depressed. Just in a different way. He was the breadwinner, the workaholic, and also the alcoholic. And I remember the times of his depression that I didn't recognize as depression.
Part of my family history caused my father's depression, his behavior that few people understood.
The book, in its present state, is in my opinion 100 percent better than the first draft, which is usually the case with any first draft. But as I get closer to the end now, the third edit, here I am wondering if I should have written about my journey through this book. Is it important?
I don't see myself writing a memoir about my life. This is the book, here and now. What goes into it is THE book.
I may write my mother's family history book. Not sure. I feel I owe it to her. It would be way different than this Dean book. Her family history is so different, and the research has already been done by one of Mom's cousins years ago. I've got the Leeds family back to the 1600s.
However, today, I'm editing the Deans through the 1900s, telling my grandmother's story, my father and aunts and uncles. Recent stuff. I'm alive finally and part of the story.
How much do I tell of what I saw? Who really wants to know? Do I keep this clean and happy? Is that what my family wants to read?
I knew I would get to this point. This part is easier to edit because I don't need as much research into the timeline events. I knew what was happening in the world and my own community. I can paint those word pictures. But then there's the hard part.
I always knew I'd reach this decision crossroad.