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  • jdalton3


Updated: Aug 21, 2023

Sometimes you need to hold your nose and jump.

A carefree young man, holding a flower, unaware of strolling too close to the edge, even though his canine companion is trying to warn him.
The Fool card in Tarot

THE FOOL card symbolizes the initial risk taken when moving into the next stage of life or navigating the uncharted waters of a new opportunity. (The One World Tarot)

Writing a book is like pulling THE FOOL card in the Tarot. You blithely step off the cliff without a care in the world where you’re dropped into the middle of the ocean. You begin swimming and swimming, and still, with no land in sight, you realize, oh, shit, chances are good, I’m going to drown.

On Monday, July 31, I bit the bullet, pulled the trigger, and emailed the two agents who contacted me in February of 2022 about writing a book after reading one of my essays, “What’s Your Porno Name,” in The MacGuffin literary magazine.

I’ve never written a book. What do I write about? This sounds crazy and impossible.

Of course, I’m flattered and love a challenge, so I began working on the book. I wrote every day for at least three hours.

Since I’d never written a book, I had to teach myself story structure. I did this by signing up for a year course called the Story Immersion Project.

So okay, I’m writing the book, and all is well. Then I discover the book is only one small part. I also need to write a BOOK PROPOSAL (whatever that is), and more bad news, I must create and build a WRITER’S PLATFORM (more on that some other time).

This news was overwhelming, and like Scarlett O’Hara, I railed at the heavens. I wanted to quit right then and there, but I’d already completed the book (2nd draft anyway).

I am nothing if not tenacious, and being an Aries (the Ram) and hardheaded, I tend to bang my head against a brick wall without so much as a headache.

It took me several months to figure out what a BOOK PROPOSAL was. This writing business is like being in the witness protection program; nobody talks. It’s so confusing, and there’s a difference between nonfiction and memoir proposals. I took a video class, read articles, and watched videos online. Once again, I was overwhelmed and wanted to give up.

Then I stumbled upon a book (there are no accidents)—HOW TO WRITE A BOOK PROPOSAL. Catchy title, no. It’s a big thick book with chapter after chapter about how to complete this Herculean task. So I began the long, slow slog toward creating a book proposal.

I wanted to quit, but I’d come so far—I couldn’t stop now.

I thought a BOOK PROPOSAL would take a couple of weeks. Ha! It took me three months. I found a spectacular memoir proposal that gave me ideas of how to deal with certain sections of my proposal.

I read sections of my proposal to my writing workshop and got feedback. Then I asked three people to read the proposal (sixty-one pages! There are a few photos) and received more worthwhile feedback. I could keep reviewing the proposal ad nauseam but finally said, ENOUGH! SEND IT.

So I did.

Panic and nausea set in. Why did I send it? Was the proposal ready? What if they say no? Moving forward is scary. Taking a risk is scary, but sometimes you need to take a leap of faith and jump.

To my fellow travelers, may you continue to grow, create, and challenge yourself on the path of life and, along the way, take leaps of faith.

"Leap and the net will appear."

John Burroughs

FYI: These particular agents take 4-6 weeks to review your materials; during that time, they hold exclusive rights to the book.

So, now we wait.

Being an actor is complex and crazy, but being a writer is harder.

Thanks so much for your support. You are greatly appreciated.



P.S. I just discovered several of you responded to my emails via Mailchimp. I didn't see them because I didn't realize that was a possibility. I will respond to each one when I figure out how to. This is a learning curve for me. Please be patient. So much to learn. WRITERS PLATFORM.

Feel free to share this email with anyone you feel might enjoy it.

Copyright © 2023 Jill B Dalton All rights reserved.

New York City

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