I have always loved knowing the backstory of books, movies, and even people’s behavior. I want to understand the motivation, rationale, and goal of everything. I love E: True Hollywood Stories and VHI’s Behind the Music so I decided to do a Behind the Pages of Crumbs Aren’t Enough to give you the backstory on my passion project that took close to six years to complete.
What made me write a novel? Let me tell you, during this close to six-year journey, I have asked myself this question many times. It all started in the summer of 2007. I had on my heart to start a website, perfectlyme.com, to encourage people (mostly women and girls) to love themselves despite what others might consider flaws and imperfections. I got the website up by the end of August and started blogging. While writing content for the site, I started to think about my own journey to self-acceptance. And I started to feel the pull to write a book to share that journey. My first title was My Journey to Perfectly Me. But, despite the title, I didn’t want it to be a memoir or self-help book. I wanted it to be fiction based on my life. I wanted to be able to change the names and embellish or play down events where I wanted to in order to drive my point home. If you want to really get a sense of my original thought, check out my original prologue which I wrote from my perspective not the perspective of the main character, Charlie.
I started writing right after Thanksgiving 2007. It seemed so easy. I finished a chapter every couple of weeks. I couldn’t believe people made such a big deal about writing a novel, I was killing it. I finished the first draft in early May 2008 and I thought I was done. I decided to change the name to Perfectly Me? At the time, my story was so personally infused in the novel that I wanted to carry on the Perfectly Me brand. My friend, Allyson Jones, graciously offered to read it and provide editorial comments for me. (Thank God she did. She started me on my way to the novel I am about to release.) I happily accepted. I thought it would be great to have another set of eyes on my masterpiece. Remember, I thought I was finished. So I expected mere grammatical changes nothing more. I just knew that my story line, character development, and plot development were perfect. You know what they say, pride goeth before the fall. When she returned the edits to me, I fell hard. There was so much blue ink. I am sure Allyson, an acupuncturist and professor at Tai Sophia, used blue ink to make it look less aggressive but I felt sick. A lot of her changes were developmental and I was not prepared for that at all. She shockingly wanted more dialogue where all I had done was narrate the scene. She wanted more development around the characters’ personalities. The reason I said shockingly was because I realized after getting her feedback that I hadn’t even read a novel in years so I was probably the least suited person to write one. Lucky for me, I had just quit my job so I had some time to do all of the work required.
Check out Behind the Pages – Crumbs Aren’t Enough Part II at http://www.raquelwhiting.com.
Hi, my name is Raquel Whiting Gilmer and I am a wife, daughter, aspiring mother (I don’t have any kids yet but I want them.), sister, friend, small group leader, lawyer, entrepreneur, confidant, advisor, blogger, twitter attempter, soon to be published author, and accepter of crumbs. Well, a recovering crumbs accepter. What’s a crumb accepter? Is it as bad as it sounds? It’s bad, but it’s preventable and curable.
Freedictionary.com defines a crumb as a small fragment, scrap, or portion. And it defines accepter as one who accepts. So a crumbs accepter is one who accepts small scraps. No bueno, right? How did I get like this? Well, I think my low self-esteem was the root cause of it. And I’ve learned that when your self-esteem is bad then you will accept anything including crumbs in all areas of your life. BTW, my biggest crumbs area was definitely my relationships with men.
Things are different now and I have committed myself to Live Crumbs Free. Live crumbs free? Yes, I am committed to not accepting crumbs in any area of my life. But to get to this point, I had to do some work. I first had to work on my self-esteem. And after lots of therapy I got to a place where not only did I have high self-esteem but I started a website, http://www.perfectlyme.com, and a girls’ program, Perfectly Me Girls to encourage other women and girls to embrace and love who they are and not judge themselves by the world’s standards. Our motto is I’m not perfect, I’m just Perfectly Me.
Once my self-esteem was on the rise, I could start to look at the crumbs in my life. And I knew I had to deal with my personal crumbs and I’m happy to report that after many failed relationships and mounds of crumbs, I met the love of my life and married him. Yay!!! I have the full meal and then some now and it has changed my life. I want everyone to have that full meal and I know how bad the crumbs are so I’ve written my first novel about a woman struggling with relationships who finally figures out that Crumbs Aren’t Enough. I hope you will read my blog at http://www.raquelwhiting.com, check out my novel, and follow me on twitter, @perfectlyraquel, as I dole out advice and wisdom (my limited wisdom) on keeping your self-esteem high and getting rid of the crumbs.