I guess my original book was already about what it’s like to be young, insane and Mormon. I think it could be pruned a bit, but that’s what it is about. My other book is a different book, about recovery from insanity through the 12 steps. Fortunately I wrote the first book while I was still sort of insane, in 2004.
I think I could add to it some of the recent material I’ve been writing. I think it is important to differentiate between general autobiographical writing and writing about something using autobiographical events. Well, maybe. I just remember reading my grandmother’s autobiography and wondering “why is she mentioning this person? Why do I care who they are?” and so I hope my writing can be more than personal trivia, but a story that is interesting to someone not me. And I guess that’s the challenge.
So which book do I want to work on? I guess I want to finish the first book. The second book also sort of exists enough for me to deal with eventually. But there remains the fact that I don’t know if I’ve really worked all 12 steps in a meaningful way, but I remain hopeful. It took me 4 years to finally do step 4, so I may yet really do step 9. Step 4 is the written inventory, though the actual step only requires a fearless and searching inventory.
Step 9 is to make amends. Maybe I didn’t do step 8 right, since it was pretty much a list of everyone I’ve ever known and the ways in which I have harmed them, and of course actually making the amends would be daunting. That’s how it feels, though I tried to base it off my inventory. The only specimen I’ve seen of step 9 “in action” is the movie Bounce, and I’m reasonably sure he was doing it wrong. But I can also see how my hesitance could result in that sort of mess. And the resolution was so simple, though far from easy.
Okay, so back to the first book, then.