I’ve written several times about the book I’ve been working on about online dating. I’ve also written about how I’ve worked on different versions because I wasn’t sure if what I had previously done was right. I started with the book in 3 sections: guys I’ve gone out with that were decent people, guys that were horrible people whether or not I met them in real life, and the cheaters I caught. Then I decided I wanted to change that up and write the book chronologically because some of the stories only made sense when it was put into the proper timeline. I’ve been going back and forth on those two versions for a while and I never was 100% sure it was right.
I was so conflicted on which version I wanted that I had to stop working on it for a bit. Then I was inspired to work on a novel inspired by online dating (but it would be a work of fiction). I haven’t done much with the novel except doing a brief outline of what the plot points would be along with a few style ideas which are needed because of the idea I have with that book. I’m not feeling a huge push to work on it and I think I’ll probably use it for NaNoWriMo this year. I think working on a piece of fiction would be easier than something that is about my real life because I don’t have to wait to figure out what will happen next. I can make it up and I don’t have to depend on having more dates.
And I think waiting is one of the reasons I’ve been struggling with my original online dating book. I have said since I started it that I didn’t know how it would end. I would love it to end with the story of the guy I end up with, but I have no idea when that will happen and I don’t love the idea that the story needs to end like that. Not everything has to end with a happy ending and I want it to accurately represent where I am in life. Maybe when I finally finish it I will be with my forever person, but if I’m not I don’t want to feel like things are incomplete.
I stopped working on that book a little while ago although I have been adding notes about stories I wanted to include. But I haven’t felt the motivation to work because of the fear that until I know the ending that I can’t work on it. But I have inspired a little bit ago about yet another version of what this book could be and it finally doesn’t seem to require a real ending. And the inspiration kind of came from the blog posts I write about online dating.
Sometimes I do write general online dating posts on here and funny stories. But I also write about lessons that I’ve learned from the various dates and experiences I’ve had. And while I feel like the crazy stories are fun and entertaining, the lessons I’ve learned are probably so much more important. I’ve discovered so much about myself through these dating experiences. I’ve learned what I want, what I’m willing to tolerate, what I deserve, and what I believe. I know that dating isn’t always like this for people, but for me it really has been a journey in self-discovery. Even in the moments of pain and when someone breaks my heart, I am able to learn something from that experience and I want to believe that I am a better person because of those lessons.
Not every guy I was writing about in previous versions of my book are life lessons, but many of them are. Some of the guys can be grouped into one lesson and some guys have multiple lessons. But I feel like there is a great way to organize these lessons where it doesn’t require a specific pattern or even a conclusion. They can just be a collection of stories and what I learned about myself and it doesn’t need me to have a story that is about how I fell in love, got married, and had my happily ever after. It would be great to have that story, but that’s not what I feel this book needs to be about. It’s not about how I met my perfect guy, it’s about my experience dating. And having it about the lessons allows me to focus on that instead of the overall journey.
I’ve only started working on this new version, so I don’t have much done. But just getting the lessons down and connecting which guys represent which story has given me a lot of clarity about what this book could be. And I have shared the idea with a few friends and I think they agree that this is a better idea if I want to possibly publish the book. The funny and crazy stories might only connect with people who know me in real life. But life lessons should be able to connect with those outside my social circle and might be something that others would be interested in reading.
I know I have written before how I feel like I finally found what this book should be and I keep changing it. But I do feel like this is a bit different. I almost have a sense of relief and peace with the idea and feel less pressure that I don’t have to rely on what dates may happen in the future to figure out if the book is done. And even if I change things up again and decide that this is not the right version, I think this will actually benefit me quite a bit. There are still some situations I’ve been in where I haven’t figured out the lesson just yet. This will force me to look at what happened and try to see what I can learn. And those new lessons will just keep helping me become the best version of myself.
Hopefully one day this book is done and I can share it with the world. I know my dating experience isn’t necessarily the most unique, but there are people who haven’t gone through what I have gone through and I’d love to be able to share what I have learned and what I know with them.