Someday I Will Not Be Ashamed: One Woman’s Journey to a Life Not Based on Merit is the title of the memoir I recently finished. It’s my story of a journey through shame; a story of one plan after another to be beautiful, brilliant, and successful enough to escape the shame I carried. Challenged by eating disorders, drug addiction, chronic pain, and mental illness, I go from the halls of MIT to the corridors of the psych ward, from a therapist-in-training to a therapist’s problem patient, and, at last, from self-hatred to an unexpected self-acceptance.
After several revision passes, I and mentors have judged it as ready as it’s going to be. Between September 2022 and November 2022, it was being prepared for submission to literary agencies, which means I was crafting my proposal and query letter. This was, of course, a steep learning curve. And every step of it was against a tide of discouragement from naysayers telling me how infinitesimal my chances of finding a “real” agent are. I didn’t dispute them…I knew there’s a big difference between a good book and a marketable book, which is why I put so much work into the proposal.
I did all this–regardless of what my chances were or were not–because I wanted to know I gave the book every chance to achieve the widest reach. After all, my purpose in writing it was outreach. If I got no results after a reasonable amount of time, it would be time to explore smaller presses and other options. And that would be OK. But I wanted to know I didn’t let insecurity keep me from trying.
Then, a series of events reminded me how unpredictable my life and my ability to function are. I realized that, even if I hit the jackpot and got an agent, I wasn’t suited for the lifestyle that would await me…so I switched to the self-publishing track. Now I’m navigating that learning curve and hoping to have the book ready by late spring or summer of 2023.
It’s a good book, and I’m proud of it. I’m looking forward to sharing it with all of you.