Hyperbole is a wonderful word. It sounds like a leisure destination but in reality is the ultimate in overstatement. It gets thrown around a lot of late too, because people have become far more theatrical and expressive in both praise and condemnation. I read a testimonial yesterday which described a particular product as
“The single most effective social advertising platform in existence.”
which, if you don’t mind me saying, is a pile of utter bollocks. It does look good when you’re attempting to sucker the gullible into buying your product. Making anything appear indispensable, however important you believe both it and you are, remains a professional advantage. It’s hyperbole on a microcosmic scale, creating significance from the mundane. However, in a world where individual perception matters so very much more than it ever did because everybody is watching, this definition can hurt. If it matters to YOU, then that should be enough, but rarely is.
We all like to be loved, and everybody would hope to be considered unique.
Writing saved me. This is neither an exaggerated claim or an overstatement. For a period of approximately 18 months, writing prevented me from taking my own life. It allowed the means by which, coupled with a virtual world and my own psyche, I was able to rationalise a justification for being worthwhile as a person. I’d drift close to the edge and then young children and husband would remind me that there were reasons to remain. Friends would reach out and point out that I was important, helpful, that my words had merit. In the darkest nights where I couldn’t sleep and felt totally devolved from existence, I wrote about attempting suicide. Those words remain and, over a decade on, I have revived them with intent to finish the work.
That extended sequence forms a part of the novel I first began back in 2001, after my son was born, which has been picked at and prodded ever since. It’s never been finished because, I now realise, there’s a phenomenal amount of pain wrapped around the idea. Rationalising what I went through and going back to it remains difficult, but this week I will pull out original manuscript and do just that. I feel I owe it to myself to challenge this period head on, not shirk from the state I was in and do something positive with what was, in effect, one of the most negative and damaging portions of my life. I effectively created a world where a broken person became the heroine, and found her happy ending.
Bringing positives out of this has proved difficult until this point, because I have simply not possessed the tools required to deal with the baggage that exists around those passages. Finally however, this year has bought a measure of emotional maturity which I feel means the time is right to be truthful: there’s been plenty of attempts to restart this narrative since it began, but never the honesty within to admit the truth behind this process. Now I can (and I have) lay those cards on the table, all the other poor metaphors can also be re-written and cast aside for good. The story, I believe, is incredibly sound. It is time to prove that, once and for all.
I’ve placed a notional time limit on this re-write of three months, which includes the fact I’m working on NaNoWriMo solidly in November. Now I’ve overcome the psychological barrier of admitting its significance in public, it is a far easier road to travel. I’ll have a clearer picture by the end of September of whether this is an underestimation or not, but for now this is where my long form writing career began. I’ll share more details of what MMXCI entails in the weeks that follow, but for now I can tell you I tried to make a book cover for it a while ago and failed in what I wanted to do. The tag-line however is solid.
Once I have the real cover set in my head, I’ll know I’m truly in the correct mindset to finish the journey.