Posted on the Squeetus Blog March 22, 2006 10:29 AM PST.
It's a strange and exciting experience going through this second draft of diary of a lady's maid. This story has been with me for a couple of years, I started writing the first draft last year, but no one has seen it yet but me. It's still mine. It feels so robust in my mind, but I realize that no one else has the least concept of it, not even Dean.
Once my books are published, I don't feel ownership of them anymore. They grow up, move out, make a life of their own. The images and sounds and smells of the stories exist in thousands of other minds besides my own. I feel like my experience of that story is only one experience, and not necessarily the true one.
But diary is still mine, only mine. Writing in diary format, first person, has created this incredible intimacy between me and Celie, the main character. I'm completely wrapped up in her life and fascinated by everything she says. And I have no idea if anyone else will be. I truly don't! I've been thinking about this a lot this week, since Dean, my first reader, will look at it this weekend. I try to anticipate his response. And I can't. Will he fall in love with it? Will he find it dull, slow, and uninteresting? It happens with every book. I never know if the story I want to tell for myself will amuse, delight, or even vaguely interest anyone else. It makes me a little nervous...