There is nothing worse than having to read one’s own book. To be compelled to do it, again and again. But it’s worth it after all since it will be printed soon. And who knows – someone might actually read it. You turn over each and every word, every sentence and you look for statements that could lead to misinterpretation. You clarify the context. Does it work? Is the heading perfect? And then, a few weeks later, when you hold the printed version in your hand, what is lacking is the frequently promised thrust of endorphin derived from joy. Instead, you have the nightmarish sense of irrevocability. Nothing can be changed now. Perhaps you may be able to do something at readings, when you can discuss it, deal with it, possibly even correct it. However, this won’t work this year amid the pandemic. It will remain as is, printed in black on white. It is the reader who gives it life, gives it more thought, corrects and maybe – who knows – puts it into action.
Jean Peters, 3 March 2021