Years ago, I read and taught Anne Bradstreet’s poem called The Author to her Book. A friend had taken her work and had it published unbeknownst to her. She compared it to sending a child out of the house with tattered, torn clothes or something similar.
I can totally relate to her woes as a self-published author. After many years of rejections from traditional publishers, I was so excited when self-publishing hit the publishing scene. A dear cousin tested the waters while having her own memoirs published. Thus, she introduced me to Trafford Publishing, and I now have over eleven works completed through them.
But, using the newly coined phrase, “Here’s the deal.” Rather than having loads and loads of notes stuffed here, there, and everywhere, this format allows me to put my writings in a book format. And yes, I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars, but at least my sacred ideas are safely stored for those who come behind me.
I recently embarked on a new endeavor and tried my hand at a more historical work. I wanted to finish some biographical sketches that my mother had started about some of her family members. I had notes and little slips of paper, tucked in all types of spaces and places from interviews with loved ones over the decades.
So, I embarked on this herculean feat. I write in longhand. Then, I do my own data-entry or type as they used to say back in the day. And though I try to catch the typos, some still appear. It is an imperfect life that we live.
Also, with this project, there are almost 200 images and I had to put on my media specialist hat and manipulate and touch up the images that family members sent me. Yesterday, the eBook appeared and yes, I see its blemishes. The errors stick out in my mind and I feel quite like Anne Bradstreet.
Yet, unapologetically, here it is with all its imperfections. As in any race, it is a start. And the young-uns coming behind me can polish it as they run their own races because they now have a leg up from my writing of By Way Of? Tracing the Johnson, Cooper, Cummings, Matthews and Dixon Families.
Lynn M. October 24, 2020