I am writing my book proposal. I know. I always say that. But this time for real. It’s been written. And re written. And re written again. So yeah, I’m re writing it. I’m sure not for the last time. Something I just read said that your book proposal should present your topic, describe an urgent gap in the topic and then introduce the author as the hero who will be able to fill that gap. I feel ultimately deflated and not able to be that hero. Obviously I don’t think of myself as any expert on any subject, let alone the subject of suffering. But I have to write this proposal suggesting myself as the hero who can fill a gap in this subject area?
My book is the heroic document that will solve the worlds suffering problem and bring healing to the masses.
Surely that is not what is expected of me.
The real reason I started writing was selfishly only for myself. For my healing. I think it was very profitable. I explored my story. My feelings. I wrote them down and I was able to look at all the events and explore them all to see how those things were affecting my life. This four-year journey has been weird. And has had lots of ups and downs. I know that I have learned a lot of things. Most of them I still can’t even put into words. But I don’t think I am the hero.
I don’t know how to sell myself or sell my book to a publisher as someone who is filling a gap. Let alone the only one who is able to fill that gap. I know that there are gaps. I know that there are people suffering. Who feel like they are alone. And I think that is my main objective. To just put it out there and say hey I went through this, and I went through suffering and its maybe not the same as yours, but I felt it and I know kinda what you are feeling and there are lots of other people feeling it too and you aren’t alone! You are not alone!
But is that heroic?
I went to get special orthotics the other day. Like an old person. I know. LAME. The man fitting me for the orthotics was a double amputee. He lost his legs in a car accident. He asked for my story to get a better idea of what was going on with my foot and as I shared with him he was amazed. He walked me around the place introducing me to other workers exclaiming loudly that I was in a bomb and that I was a hero. I don’t know how being in a bomb makes me a hero. It’s not like I did it intentionally. Or saved anyone else’s life. I was in a bomb and I lived. But to me that isn’t heroic. It’s just stupid. Wrong place, wrong time. I survived. Which is good I guess. But where do heroics come into that?
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about that. How he kept telling me I was a hero. And I talk to my boss, a retired marine, who was in bombs but in defending and protecting our country. And I think he is a hero. But not me. He put himself in harm’s way to protect us. That is heroic.
A hero is defined as: “a person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character;
a person who, in the opinion of others, has special achievements, abilities, or personal qualities and is regarded as a role model or ideal; or the principal character in a story, play, film, etc. (dictionary.com) I certainly don’t feel like I had any courageous acts or nobility. But I would love to be distinguished as a role model and in the story of my life, that I am writing, I am the principal character.
So in this day, in this weird space, I am trying to figure out if I am a hero. And how to best present myself in that light even thought I don’t believe it about myself. Because I want this publisher to see me that way. I want him to be desperate to publish my book. But am I asking him to believe something about me that I don’t believe about myself. And do I need to believe it in order for it to indeed be true or is it a “fake it till you make it” situation? Am I the only one who can fill this gap? Am I the only one who can talk about suffering and how to get through it and how to learn from it and how to put God in the middle of it as the only means of actually making sense of it? No. Other people can do that. But I am the only one who can tell this story. And so, I am going to be this hero. And I am going back to writing my proposal. To convince the publisher that I am the hero worth having.