HALF WILD is on Amazon!
What it took to get here, and what to do next.
I could say I spent two years writing this book but it was probably more like five.
Five years of traveling and sporadically scrawling down ideas to keep myself company while out on the road. Sometimes I felt compelled to cobble those thoughts into essays. Something special happened when I sat down to make sense of the scribbles. As my fingers danced across the keyboard, I lost track of time.
After an hour or so, I snapped back to reality and something new was in the room with me. If I tried to keep writing, it was clunky and laborious. The muse had left the building. Reading back what I wrote was surprising. There were phrases that I loved but didn’t recognize, as if I hadn’t just written them moments before.
Even though the experience was magical, I still had to fight myself to do it again. I wrote seldom and sporadically until the pandemic halted my travels and I had lots of hour to fill. I started holding myself accountable to showing up for those moments where my eyes rolled back in my head and I could unleash the ideas that were buried somewhere deeper in my consciousness. Story time with friends confirmed that I was on the right track, that my stories could hit a nerve and actually mean something.
The biggest impediment to writing was my own mind. I resisted sitting down at my desk because I had “nothing to write about.” Or I needed a standing desk or to brush up on my syntax, first. Eventually, the guilt of procrastination became too much and I sat down and start typing nonsense like I was pulling the cord to start the engine of a lawnmower.
“Hello. I’m only writing because I’m supposed to be writing right now.” Vroom.
“I’m not totally certain why I’m even here because I have no original ideas and even when I do I don’t know where to take them.” VROOM.
“I am afraid to write because I value originality so highly and if I discover I don’t have any I will be heartbroken.” Ohhhhh. And just like that the engine would ignite and I’d be off. Night after night, I beat resistance by sitting at my desk and typing dumb stuff until I got the motor running.
Still, I struggled to complete the book because I had no plans for when it was done. I wasn’t interested in subjecting myself to what I heard from friends and Internet articles was a brutal and masochistic process of shopping my work out to agents and publishers. I tried a few times, to say I’d done it. The response was as expected. I didn’t have a name or a following or a compelling backstory. People didn’t want to read short stories. Everyone thinks they can write a memoir, but most memoirs are terrible.
And so on, until a woman who had just started her own publishing company walked in my front door and we bonded over sobriety and our mutual love for getting shit done. I confided in her that I wanted to publish but I was 80% complete and I didn’t have any prospects. She told me my first order of business was to finish the book (duh), and we’d go from there. She had a plan. She had connections.
It took two weeks of planting my butt into my seat for nightly meetings with the muse before it was done. I passed the manuscript along to an editor, then a layout pro, then a printer, and here we are.
The woman I was when I started writing this book could not have imagined this moment. It felt like so much work to get here. Too many steps. Too much unknown. And it was. Three years of going slow, just for fun. Two years of getting friendly with the muse and building better habits. A two-week lighting round to get it done. I got here with a boatload of support, patience, tough love, breakdowns, breakthroughs, and now, incredibly, celebration.
So let’s go.
Here’s what to do
Yes, I could just give you the link to go buy my book on Amazon. But as a tiny producer in a world of e-commerce leviathans, I’m going to need a bit of help to start ranking in the search engine.
Go to Amazon.
Use the search feature to search for “half wild whitney” or “half wild whitney durmick.”
Decide if you want the paperback or Kindle version.
Read, share, and write a review.
Give yourself a high five for supporting an emerging author.
NOTE: Friends outside of the US should purchase directly from the website.