To Write a Book, Pull Your Heart Out of Your Chest
Last year, I published my first book of poetry.
I worked on it during the most trying time of my life, but it was worth stressing over. That was right after I had a major surgery which I candidly wrote about here.
It wasn’t the stress that a boss placed on me or a tight deadline for a job. It was one that I, to my surprise, enjoyed being in because it was for a book. Despite the sleepless nights and weariness, I knew I was doing the right thing.
I have a profound admiration and respect for books. It could be why I have always wanted to make one.
To get to that point where I get to write my first book, I had to go through some unexpected and unfortunate situations.
My almost 7-year relationship had to end. I had to go bankrupt for the first time. For many days, I was on my bed wanting to disappear. Nothing mattered, not even myself.
No one knew what I went through, and on my own, I climbed my way out of that dark hole with more ridiculous decisions that led to more heartache, self-loathing, and pain. I tried to pray things out, but no god could save me.
That was a dark, stormy period from my past. The book, “Like A New Sun Rising”, shone a light on that period, and the light keeps shining whenever I see it sitting on a small corner of my desk.
It is true what Francis Bacon said, “In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.”
In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present. -Francis Bacon
Light can only be seen in the darkness and darkness can only be eliminated by light.
Years before the book came out, I had to write a lot of sentences that no one ever read. I had to read books I didn’t understand. I had to look for a direction to follow because that’s what you do when you can’t find your way. I read and read to help me with my writing and my living, hoping the words seep through me to guide me closer to that light.
I had to write exhaustive journal entries for years to understand what was going on. I was clueless.
I had to grieve the loss of that great love. That grief has left me and yet, whenever I look back, I still get this bittersweet feeling. It was a love I would always long for but never will have again.
It took humility to write them all down, and courage to let it all out. I knew I did the best I could. I pulled my heart out of my chest. I had given it everything.
I’d been able to give it because I’d let go of all the grandiose ideas I’d once had about myself and my writing.
No more did I think I was talented, or that I had it in me. Because guess what? I wasn’t, and, and I didn’t. There was nothing I knew that no one didn’t know. There’s nothing I’ve been through that’s unique. I had no original ideas, my writing skills were not outstanding and every single person in this world had gone through love and loss, just like me.
It was written simply for the words had to be; the poems needed to exist and I would like for them to be around until after I’m gone.
The love I wrote about, and I will always write about, may be gone forever, but the book will be around for a very long time. I like that idea.
I had to write my book. That was my truth.
It was only in humility that I could do the work I needed to do.
Odyssa is the author of Like A New Sun Rising: A Collection of Poems on Love and From Where I Stand: A Collection of Poems on Travel. Be a Medium member by clicking here. To subscribe to her stories by email, click this.