Monday, February 13, 2012

Day 44: The Joy Of Pursuing My Passion

For those keeping track, yes, I know I did not write anything for Day 43. Instead, I stayed up until 1:30 this morning and finished the last chapter for our book. Well, at least the last "draft" chapter.

That means I only need to write the Introduction (yeah, that's not intimidating) and finish getting the images for my chapters and then edit the wonderful Ms. Rachel's chapters.

To state the obvious, writing a book is really a lot of work, and it is a big commitment. But, after years of writing things I was only kind of interested in, or contributing to literally dozens of magazines, newspapers, and other books and encyclopedias, I have to say that finally having a publisher say that they want to do the book exactly the way I (well in this case we) envisioned it and proposed it is sometimes too hard for me to believe. As one of my friends always says, "here pinch me to see if you're dreaming."

I have literally been writing about the things that I put in this last chapter ("2000 and Beyond: Who's Farming Now) since the year 2000 and can't tell you the number of rejections I have gotten from newspapers, magazines, and publishers who thought nobody would be interested in reading about urban farms, seed libraries, or school gardens. I guess what they say is true; if you keep doing something long enough, eventually it will become fashionable.

The other extraordinary thing I found while writing this chapter is that except for having to get actual LA County agriculture statistics and a couple of other things, I wrote this one from my personal experience, knowledge, and memory. It has been one of the most fulfilling experiences I have ever had as a writer and has given me such a great sense of completion.

As I was working on it, I was completely immersed in it and wasn't distracted at all. Something that is also unusual because I don't often get to write about something I have so much interest and love for. I don't know what's going to happen with our book once it is done and published. I only know that it has brought me such joy to write it.

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