The book I once called my “Florida history book” has gone through a thousand and one incarnations, and each time, it was clear something was wrong with it. I just couldn’t figure out what it was. Although I love to read non-fiction, writing it was another story altogether, and I was in unfamiliar territory. So, I workshopped it with Ann Hood’s non-fiction class at Writers in Paradise, Eckerd College, last year. It became clear to me, more than before, that I was failing at something. I promptly decided my writing, and everything I did, was beyond terrible. Then, I stopped having a pity party, and resumed work.
I hit a brick wall once again. This month, I took an online class led by Ann which focused on personal essays. I had learned at Eckerd College that I was accidentally writing personal essays, and this would appear to be true. Therefore, my “Florida history book” is being split into at least three different things. From this will come a short book on the history of North Palm Beach.
So far, the rewrites are going well. Mostly because I think I finally understand what a personal essay is and how to write one, and I also realize the direction in which I need to take this history book on North Palm Beach. We’ll see.
The important lesson to take away from this is, if you feel something about your writing sucks, just keep writing until it no longer sucks. When writing fails, maybe you’re just doing it wrong.
Keep at it until you get it right! That’s what I’m doing. Back to it, folks.