The paperback of my memoir, I Came All This Way to Meet You: Writing Myself Home, is out today. You can order it online or through your local independent bookstore. If you order it through my local bookstore, I will sign it for you.
I sat with a quiet feeling about it early this morning. I have spent a year with it so far — a whole lifetime, too, I suppose. I took some time to write about it in my journal.
I don’t regret writing this book but I did not love publishing it. Maybe things will feel easier now that I’ve had some time to process it all. There are more than a few stages to publishing a book. Maybe this is an evolution.
A paperback is the second life for a book. (A last life, perhaps.) I thought I should wish it luck. This paperback feels sort of punky and sporty and youthful and looking for a fight, so I thought, “Good luck, new guy.” I tried to feel something fresh about it beyond that but I could only return to the original questions and emotions I had about it from a year ago when I put it out, two years ago when I finished writing it, three, when I first wrote the proposal.
Why write a book like this if you don’t want people to know you? (You better be sure you want to do it.) What do you want them to know? (What secrets can you keep for yourself?) What do you want them to take away from your story? (But remember you can’t control what they think.) What is the message you want to send out to the world about the life you have lived before this moment?
I love to write and I love my community. Here are the places I went, here are the people I have met, here are the ghosts I have encountered. Here are the books I have read, and what they meant to me. Here is the world I have seen thus far. It has not always been easy. I have not always been easy. Take it or leave it, but here we all are together, let’s talk for a while.
Thanks for reading it, if you have. I appreciate you.
This newsletter is on break for a few weeks while I run the Mini 1000, from Jan 7-12. You can sign up here.
If you are in New Orleans, please join me for a launch party at Bar Pomona, hosted by Blue Cypress Books.
You are reading Craft Talk, the home of #1000wordsofsummer and also a weekly newsletter about writing from Jami Attenberg. I’m also on twitter and instagram. I try to answer comments as best I can, which are open to paid subscribers. You can subscribe here or give a gift subscription here. (If you are a teacher let me know, and I will give you a free subscription.) Fifty percent of the proceeds will go to various cultural, educational, and social justice organizations in New Orleans (and sometimes elsewhere). This week’s donation went to Cave Canem.
curious what you didn’t love about the publishing part of this book...was it the reality of exposure, facing your audience with this personal story? or something else?