Has anyone felt the lightness of accomplishment only to be weighed down by that one last thing to do?
It took me twenty years of “I wish I could write this book” to get to the messy and beautiful task of actually doing it. “Inside the River” is done.
I am not alone in finding the synopsis, that needed summary of the book, difficult and procrastination worthy. I have procrastinated and fought it with eyes wide open. I think I’ve done it because I fought against the fact that the summary of my work is not my work. It’s the tastiest flavor of my book, but it’s not all the flavors. Just like when we meet someone, start a new venture, say hello to a blind date — we cannot expect that first impression to be the full sphere of a person, idea, finished product. But what if this glance is the only glance you get? What would you put inside it, what would be expendable, what would stand under the spotlight?
What if you had to write the summary of your life, in about 3,000 words (double-spaced or single-spaced I am still figuring that out). Would the joy or the sadness or the healed pain be the thread? Would other people overpower your own story? Would the silence and lonely times knot the thread? Would the past inform or keep you stuck? Would your words scream of fear or sing about love? What flavor would you want to savor? What flavor would you surprisingly realize was not all that flavorful? What regret could you let go of because it doesn’t move your story forward and your word count is almost full? What happens when you edit out all the drama? What is left? Who is left?
After reading this summary, would an agent, and an audience, want to read your whole story?