Had critique group last night look over my book proposal. Have I mentioned that this group is wonderful? I'm learning so much about my own writing, receiving and giving feedback.
So I've been working on the book focusing on telling the stories of the fat ladies and putting them in context of American society as it has changed in the last 150 years. I've been so frustrated because I'm not an academic; I don't have the theoretical language or concepts down. Somehow I was convinced that I had to use that framework in order to be taken seriously or appear smart enough. The group has been telling me over and over that I should be talking more about myself, telling my story. I thought it was because they are all working on memoirs and I have a bias against memoir so I've been ignoring them. When it was really about protecting myself from exposure and playing small.
Even though in the proposal, I say that this book is unique because it's a book about freaks written by a freak. Well after being gently told/kicked in the butt again, this morning I got it. This book needs to be about me, my life as a fat lady. Trying to understand and deal with my experiences through the frame of learning about the historical fat ladies. This is my story as much as it is the historical ladies. I'm going to dump most of the academic focus and talk about it from my perspective. I need to play to my strength as a fat woman living my life big and bold, being a freak. I'm so excited and scared out of my mind. It will mean taking down the walls about being impartial (safely hidden) and also letting go of wanting to be seen as smart/educated by using big theoretical language. I am the expert on my own experiences and one of my experiences is being a public, professional fat lady.
Wheeee off to revamp all the things!