When I wrote What's My Zip Code in the months following John's death, the process was easy - almost automatic. The memories of what happened that weekend in Phoenix were still raw, and then I typed up the letters he'd written that I'd saved, so his voice was very clearly in my head. I like to say that I did not write the book - the book wrote me. By that I mean that through the process of remembering, organizing and writing, I became the character of the narrator of the book - a person who is perhaps more honest and sensitive than I am in the rest of my life. Coming up with the organization and doing various revisions, some with the help of a professional editor, was writerly work. And the trip to Phoenix, the additional interviews and the work with messages from John's Amherst friends was also work - but very satisfying if not enjoyable. But the book wrote me.
Now as the book inches its way toward publication the feeling is very different. It's a collaboration, and since many of the decisions have to do with marketing, I have almost a secondary role. What is the subtitle? Marketing decision. Cover design? Marketing. Maybe its just some frustration as I am torn between a desire to get the product done and launched and a reluctance to enter the public realm of marketing the book through this blog and through taking initiative to contact bookstores, etc. Much more comfortable for me to hole up and write.
But because of the way the book wrote me, it's important that I bring it to fruition - that I invest mySELF in the presentation of myself and John to the world.