This should hardly come as a surprise to some of you, but I haven't been keeping this blog just for fun.
In some ways, it has performed a public service, since people have told me that they've used the advice that I've given here, and it's helped them. And that's good. And that's what keeps me motivated to make these posts, especially when I'm exhausted and just plain don't feel like it (all the posts about the cruise in particular were extremely time-consuming and tedious, so thanks to those of you who let me know that you actually read them).
But I digress. The main reason for this blog? Well, these are rough notes for the book I hope to write about my experiences here in Germany.
Surprised? Probably not, if you know me.
Now that we have only 3 more months to go, I've been reflecting a lot on my time here - particularly those first months when my world felt so confusing and out of sorts - and how these experiences have changed and shaped me over the past 4 years.
Those of you who have been following my Live Journal should by now have figured out the working title for this book. It was the title of my Live Journal until very recently, and it's been there right before your eyes all this time.
Losing America, Finding Myself: Adventures of an American Living Abroad
As for when I'm actually going to start compiling these notes into something resembling a book - well, that is yet to be determined. In order for me to write about a place, I generally have to be far removed from it. Once I feel distanced from Germany physically and emotionally, I think I can start putting everything together.
This blog has also allowed me to determine if there is an audience for my words. And yes, I guess there is (despite the few comments I actually get on Blogger itself, I get a fair amount on Live Journal and in emails). I've gotten so much encouragement to put my experiences together into a book, even though that was pretty much my plan all along.
Will it sell? Gee, I don't know. I'm not THAT confident, although I obviously think I have *some* writing talent, or I wouldn't have bothered to keep this blog and spend so much time on it.
There is a market out there for these types of books. I should know. I read them. I *AM* part of the market for these types of books. In fact, at this moment I am reading Extra Virgin: A Young Woman Discovers the Italian Riviera, Where Every Month is Enchanted, by Annie Hawes. It's research, I guess.
The difference is, a lot of these books tend to focus on one place. And while I have spent the majority of my time in Germany, obviously, the book won't just be about that. It will be about my travels in general, with an emphasis on Germany as home.
Okay...so some of you are probably wondering what ever happened to the novel that I started.
It still exists. And I have every intention of finishing it...someday. But this book, this memoir, just happens to be the book I want to write first. And hey, I've already been working on it for almost 4 years!