I had taken a couple of months off from writing, but with a new deadline in place, I’m very eager to dash for the finish line. To see where I stand and what I’ve got so far, I’ve decided to print out the whole manuscript and read it. I’ve shied away from this before because I thought it still needs too much work and it’s way too early to waste paper at this stage.

Turns out that, inclusive of the writing diary I keep alongside the main manuscript, the whole wad is about 2 inches thick and over 400 pages long. Wow! That’s slightly more than I had expected, and I’m not even close to finishing yet.

I’ve missed my first self-imposed deadline (which was the end of March 2018), so the new deadline to deliver the final draft is now the end of June. This will assure that BROKEN BOWELS can be released on the 4th of July 2018. Although completely arbitrary, I thought Independence Day would be a fitting date. You can pre-order the book here by the way.

I had a break from wiring because during the process, I decided to change the premise of the book. Or in other words, my motivation for writing has changed. I had set out to simply tell the story of my cancer years, what I went through, and how I got better. That’s an amazing story in itself. It would also serve as a nice memento for me so I wouldn’t forget what Julia and I have been through.

It was painful walking down memory lane and re-living the those moments of my cancer journey, so that’s certainly one thing that kept me away from the keyboard. But something else changed. The more I discussed my case with friends and family, the more I began to realise that a different question was becoming more interesting to me: 

How did I actually survive? Both physically and mentally I mean.

To answer that question means I have to tell more about my thoughts at many stages of the journey. And for the reader to understand those thoughts and motivations, I have to tell a lot more about who I am and how I got to where I am today.

Hence I have so much more to write now!

The way I envision it at this point is that we have what I’d like to call the narrative, which is more or less how I wanted to write the book in the first place. Tell the journey and let the reader make the connections. At the same time we now have what I’d like to call interstitials, or off-story chapters that shed some light on my past and how I’ve dealt with extreme situations before. These two aspects will make for a very interesting reading experience, I promise!

As I see it now, the project is perhaps turning more into a self-help book for those who have been touched by cancer, but also for other readers who are open to the subject.

Here’s an entry in my video diary I’ve made. These are two days worth: one entry is straight after printing the 400 pages, and one is my reaction after I’ve read about half of it.